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Mack the Knife not enough as Glen bow out
14 April 2012

Scottish Hydro Camanachd Cup Preliminary Round Replay

Glenorchy 1-2 Oban Camanachd (A.E.T)

The eagerly anticipated clash brought out the locals!

The two sides with unblemished starts to the season in South Division One clashed for the second successive Saturday after they couldn't be seperated at Mossfield at the first time of asking in this Camanachd Cup Preliminary round tie. This time, however, Glenorchy had home advantage and many observers felt this could swing the tie in the home sides favour.

Glenorchy went into the game with the same starting line-up which had performed well in Oban whereas Oban Camanachd brought Ally Gunn into defence for the suspended Matt Rippon and Andrew MacCuish slotted onto the wing. Full back Alan McGregor also returned to the side for the visitors.

From the very outset it was clear that this was going to be a very scrappy and hard fought encounter with the hard pitch not helping either side find any sort of early rythym. Oban were first to threaten, in comparison to the previous week, with Aidan MacIntyre bringing the best out of Glen keeper Andrew Smith after only 4 minutes and young Malcolm Clark firing just wide after good build up play.

Glenorchy were slower in finding their feet though and were struggling to create any real chances of note. Camanachd's Iain MacMillan was next to threaten with a shot which flew past Smith's left post. Alec MacPherson then had Glenorchy's first opportunity when he drove a shot just wide from a tight angle.

Inspired by this opening, Lorne Brown flashed a long range strike over the bar minutes later as the game became more open. The Glen forwardline of Alec MacPherson, Duncan Smith, Brown and Steven Turner were receving more of the ball as the half began to wear on.

Manager Allan MacKechnie made a tactical switch after half an hour when he withdrew the tireless Turner.Oban's Aidan MacIntyre was looking dangerous and he had two more shots which couldn't find the target but were well created.

Fulton Ronald clears his lines for Glenorchy.

Glenorchy then made their second change of the afternoon just 10 minutes before half time when Duncan Smith's hand injury from the last game re-opened and he was replaced up front by Sandy Leiper. With the Glen defence of Grant MacPherson, Duncan MacDougall, Fulton Ronald and Ewan Murray defending brilliantly it was going to take something outstanding to beat them. But. after 40 minutes a ball across the Glen defence was just missed by Murray leaving Iain MacMillan to fire past the helpless Smith to put Oban Camanachd 1-0 up.

You would have to say that the lead was a deserved one and Glenorchy would have been reasonably happy to go in at the interval and regroup with just the one goal in it. Manager MacKechnie reiterated that the margin was only one goal and demanded a big effort from his players with a place in shinty's blue riband competition proper up for grabs.

The second period got underway with much the same pattern as had developed in the first half with the away side looking the more threatening. Craig MacMillan and Clark both brought Smith into action with his feet and hand respectively. After 53 minutes some good link-up play between Brown and Leiper resulted in Brown shooting just wide as Glenorchy made progress on the visiting goal.

A long distance strike from Andrew MacCuish was brilliantly stopped above his head by full back Grant MacPherson and then his brother Alec created a great opening for himself at the other end but Robert Dunnings in the Oban goal was equal to the effort.

A patched up Smith was then re-introuduced for Glen up front in place of Kenny MacDougall with just 25 minutes remaining. Aidan MacIntyre and substitute Jonny Will both had chances to effectively kill the tie off but Smith was in great form.

Glen's midfield of Scott Livingstone, captain Findlay Ross and John McNulty, who was introduced in place of Turner in the opening period were appearing to win the fitness battle with their opposite numbers as the Glen pushed for that all important equaliser.

The goal then duly came after 72 minutes when some great work by Ross and then McNulty fed the ball to Alec MacPherson who took a great touch in the air away from Alan McGregor and the fired low past Dunnings to make the scoreline 1-1.

Glenorchy were certainly buoyed by this goal and Smith, MacPherson and Brown all had shots blocked in a 2 minute spell as Camanachd were forced onto the back foot for the first real time in the game. With extra time just minutes away Camanachd pushed hard for the winner after introducing David MacMillan and Robert Alexander but just couldn't find the net and referee Robert Baxter blew for full time with the score at 1-1 and an extra 30 minutes on the way.

On a deceivingly hot afternoon the players' tiredness was always going to come into play now. Glenorchy's Alec MacPherson fired a 20 yard drive just wide as the home side looked for an early advantage. Kenny MacDougall was brought back into the action in place of Brown as Glen made full use of the rolling substitute ruling.

Then after 110 minutes Oban Camanachd took a somewhat controversial lead when a srike from Iain MacMillan deflected off the body of Will and found the net. But, Glen keeper Smith and defenders were adamant Will was in an offside position when he made contact but after consulting with injured Glenorchy striker Kieran MacKay who was acting as (a very fair!) goal judge referee Baxter allowed the goal to stand.

Just 2 minutes later Glenorchy's Duncan Smith and Findlay Ross played a neat one two in the far corner but after returning the pass Ross was fouled and Baxter blew for the foul even although Smith was in on goal. From the resulting free hit MacPherson's shot was deflected wide for a corner. Leiper's corner found its way to Smith who made his way into the box then flicked the ball towards goal but Dunnings made the save high with his hand to keep Oban's slender lead intact.

At the beginning of the second period of extra time Glenorchy began to take more risks with Ross appearing in the opposite half more regularly but Glen's Duncan MacDougall found his way into the Baxter's notebook for chopping down Iain MacMillan as he bore down on goal looking for his hat-trick.

Glen captain Findlay Ross pushes up the pitch in search of an equaliser.

As time ticked down Glen's last throw of the dice was the introduction of Scott MacIntyre to the forwardline. There was to be no further scoring though and the tie ended 2-1 in favour of league leaders Oban Camanachd.

Although very disappointed to exit the competition at this very early stage, Glenorchy will be pleased and encouraged that they matched Camanachd and held them to two draws over 90 minutes. Oban Camanachd will now travel to take on Glasgow Mid Argyll in the first round of the competition.

Next up for Camanachd is a visit to take on Bute in the quarter finals of the AJG Parcels Celtic Society Cup whereas Glenorchy are back on league business with a home game against Glasgow Mid Argyll who sit second in the league on the same 6 points as Glenorchy but from two more games.


Glenorchy: Andrew Smith, Grant MacPherson, Duncan MacDougall, Ewan Murray, Fulton Ronald, Scott Livingstone, Findlay Ross, Kenny MacDougall, Alec MacPherson, Duncan Smith, Lorne Brown, Steven Turner. Subs Used: John McNulty, Sandy Leiper, Scott MacIntyre. Unused: Iain Livingstone.

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