Sorry it’s taken so long to get a report of this up!
Safe to say it was a highly enjoyable day for all involved after the game anyway as all players were able to take in Runrig thanks to the very very very generous support of the HebCelt Festival and in particular director Caroline MacLennnan!
The game itself was played in what were surprisingly good conditions on what was a good sized park at Bayhead – the paint stayed down and Sean Cameron the ref turned up on time off the ferry boat – Micheal left his boots half way to the Creed though – his warm up was chasing after his dad along the coastal path.
The musicians game didn’t quite happen because they were all still suffering from the night before or like Garry Innes had left on the morning boat and forgot to mention out super important game in his shinty blog on the BBC – boooo! Still, he is one of the top players in the country as evidenced by the fact that rough as a dog he got to Oban with 5 minutes to spare and won a Camanachd Cup Quarter Final – but we digress.
Both ourselves and the Uibhistich had probably the strongest lineups that this game has seen and that was evidenced in the play throughout the match.
The Starting Line Up for Lewis was Conor MacDonald, Gaga, Tyson, Crawford, Dukey, Kenny Mould, Sean, Scott, Eoghan, Ally MacKenzie, Titch, Stompy.
We started off threateningly and Stompy went close a few times. It was the boy wonder James “Titch” Morrison who did the opening damage after being played in by Eoghan he dispossessed Uist Camanachd wunderkind Ewen Campbell, who otherwise didnt put a foot wrong the whole match, and got us a nice early goal to settle the nerves.
We kept on pushing as Scott started to boss big Keith but with good support from Sean and Kenny. After a few shots cracked just over by Eoghan and some good work out wide by Ally, Stompy took a shy – as Sean rushed in on Stompy’s shy into the box the young Uist keeper panicked and the ball was in the net – whether it was the ball or Sean that scared him we couldn’t tell.
Uist came at us in the final ten and went cose a few times through Ruairidh MacLeod and Blot but Conor didn’t have too much serious to deal with. Frankly the whole game with Gaga, Tyson, Crawford and Dukey playing great – Uist had nary a sniff upfront and their clearances were excellent. Ally MacK was replaced by Al Murray in the forward line after half an hour.
At halftime, it was made clear the job was only half done and boy did we get a response – we came out the traps like rabid greyhounds as we pummelled the Uist goal 0 but we couldnt make anything stick – from a rebound from a Eoghan shot – TItich put it wide from about 4 yards out and we started to worry it might cost us, but then the Stompy stood up to the plate and smacked it in! 3-0 and we had a slightly better cushion. Micheal had come on as a utility player and pretty much played every position on the park apart form Goalie and he was wearing the goalie strip so that kind of counts.
Dukey then got probably the goal of his career with an 80-yard effort (perhaps finding his range after all those 20 yard horrors) that in all honesty the Uist Keeper could have kept out, but at least Iain Sinclair felt Stompy deserved a hat-trick and put his name down!
It was great to make subs and we had plenty, Ally Lamont did very well in midfield, it was great to see big Andrew put in a good shift as well as Craig, who didnt see too much of the ball up at wing forward. Wee Jambo did well and Al Reed, Paddy and Ryan all got on and had a good wee tussle. Duncan caused utter mayhem as usual.
UIst did grab a goal and it was Blot who did the damage (so in reality al the goals were scored by Camanachd Leodhais signed players!) – our substitutions did lose us a little shape so Eoghan and Ally MacK went back on for the last 5 to bring a little more shape to the game.
The final whistle blew, big celebrations, cup presented by Connor Chalmers’ seanair, Malcolm MacLean from Proiseact nan Ealain, Leila took some cracking photos, we got our tickets we saw Runrig blow everyone away (unless you were stupid enough to stand for an hour for beer when there was obviously an amazing gig going on).
Man of the match would probably be Scott, if he hadn’t got too many of these plus player of the year in the last two months – Tyson would be a fair shout as well – absolutely rock solid and probably the best player to have played for our club – Stompy deserves a good mention for his two goals and a big shift against big Lee.
Fairplay to the Uibhistich, they have some cracking players especially at Youth level, they woud be the first to admit that they hadnt done any team training before the game and that was probably the difference. Our regular training and our experiences of playing together as a team (for what they are worth) are starting to make a difference.
Here’s to the 2011 Festival – we’ll see you all in Stornoway. Thanks to Kenny MacLeod for running the raffle, the Golf Club for hosting us after the game and to all the youth players who took the bucket around – finally to the supporters and festival goers who came and made the game a fine spectacle.