Ally Fro’s History of Back Camanachd and Lewis Select 2005-2007
The following is taken from the website of Ally “Fro” MacLeod, a former Lewis play who was involved heavily before the advent of the senior team, before retiring at the ripe age of 17. His sister Marina, and their father, are big supporters of the club to this day, and are often in attendance at home games.
Ally kept a rather funny blog about the trials and tribulations of the nascent Lewis select as they emerged from Boyd MacKenzie’s Back Camanachd and started the path which led to Camanachd Leodhais, and the first ever game against Lochbroom in 2007. The originals can still be found at http://www.freewebs.com/overthehillsandfaraway/lewiscamanachd.htm but they are archived below in all their (lack of ) glory. (Warning: may contain some strong language)
|Official Match List||
May 2005: Lewis v Uist (Stornoway Astroturf) – Friendly
Score: 1 – 4
Report: The Lewis Shinty Club’s debut game was watched by a record crowd of at least 20 supporters, news reporters and lost people. These lucky leodhsachs who witnessed this spectacle will cherish the memory of their local heroes putting up a brave fight against an experienced Uisteach team. The first half ended 1 – 0 to Uist, showing the Lewis team’s determination. Andrew Ross was Lewis’s most active player, carrying out numerous jobs at once, many times leaving his defensive duties and driving up the pitch in an effort to find new openings for attacks, which were falling few and far between for the Lewis team. The second half was a more clinical affair for Uist, as they racked up another two goals before a long-range “shot” by Ewen Mackay gave Lewis a glimmer of hope. However, the dreams of a heroic comeback were shattered as uncharacteristically awful defending from Ally Macleod, who had put in an inspired performance until then…, let some uisteach score and end the match. Overall, a sturdy performance from Lewis, showing the shinty world how much they have to offer to the sport.
July 2005: Uist v Lewis ( A Field In Berneray) – Friendly
Score: 1 – 0
Report: Lewis’s first away game highlighted their defensive strength and strong will to hold Uist off for only a narrow loss. This game was an all-out defensive spectacle as Lewis continously defended against the uisteach onslaught; and Uist shut out the Lewis attacks. This game, which took place in the middle of the Uisteach moors, also highlighted Lewis’s incredible ability to play excellent shinty on a pitch littered with various lethal hurdles such as cow shit, barbed wire fences,rabbit holes, sheep and used syringes….okay maybe i lied about the syringes, but it was hell! A lunch was provided by the Uisteachs which was sporadically enjoyed by the visiting team. Reports of several cases of food poisoning are “unconfirmed”.
October 2005: Uist v Lewis (Lionacleit) – Lord Of The Isles
Score: 3 – 0
Report: A match held during MOD 2005 was unquestionably Lewis’s worst performance so far. Poor defending, poor attacking, poor communication, poor passing and non-existent teamwork meant that we were lucky not to concede any more. James Mackenzie put in a captain’s performance and was undoubtedly Lewis’s best player, but everyone else was pretty awful (no offence everyone else), and even he couldn’t stop this heavy loss. The bus journey was fun…
April 1 2006: Lochbroom v Lewis (Ullapool Astroturf)
Score: 8 – 3
Scorers: Stompy (2), Chips
Report: Perhaps Lewis’s finest performance to date, as the scoreline did not reflect the great performance of the visiting team. The game was held in the luxurious surroundings of Ullapool on a very sunny day, but this drastic change in temperature was not a hinderance to Lewis’s performance as they gave the mainlanders a serving of Leodhsach determination covered with a sprinkling of style. The first half started with equal amounts of pressure from both teams, with chances falling to Ally Macleod, playing full forward for the first time in a competetive match (hooray for me!), Scott and Stompy. Lewis’s defence was also proving its worth, as James took control at the back, Gaga as usual excelling as the proverbial brick wall and Ewen elevating himself to hero status with a string of point-blank stops in goal. It was Lochbroom, however, who scored first. I dont remember how many they scored in the first half but thats not important because a wonderful thing happened seconds before the half-time whistle….. STOMPY SCORED!!!!!!!!! fair enough it was lucky as hell (he tried to stop the ball in the air, it bounced off his stick, the keeper thought it was going out and left it to roll into the bottom right corner) but it sparked wild celebrations from the travelling supporters (Sean’s mum n dad). This gave the Leodhsachs hope, and ensured they started the second half with an aggressive attitude and a strong will to win. Lochbroom, however, showed why they are a third division side as they took their chances and dispatched another few goals, extending their lead. Stompy then scored another, a powerful shot from ten yards, and Lewis struggled back again, with Willie Macleod dictating the flow of play in the middle of the park, battling against the opposition and supplying passes to the forwards. A revitalised Sean Macleod then, in a moment of sheer genius, marauded up the left wing like some crazy pirate, taking on several Lochbroom defenders and leaving them in his wake. He then arrowed a low pass across the box for John Ferguson, who turned and finished the move by rolling the ball into the far corner. The Lewis forwards, however, were rather ineffective and not much else happened apart from some Lochbroom player scoring a screamer from the half-way line (John’s goal was better) and Sean getting cramp in both his legs after running himself into the ground (not literally). This was also perhaps the most violent game in the history of the Lewis Shinty Club, with many a skinned knee, bruises, cramps, burst noses (gomez) and i hit my head into some guy wearing a helmet (it was agony!(only when i moved my jaw tho!)). Anywhoo… a great team performance all around and this shows that, with regular games, the Lewis Shinty Club can reach their boundless potential… (or some words of encouragement that actually make sense). Cristean also tried to break Gaga’s record of 10 ice creams while we were waiting for the ferry. I think he only managed about 5 and then couldn’t take any more calories, but thats what we want to see in this team: DETERMINATION!!! During the next game, if you’re getting tired; remember Cristean’s motto:
Only Stop If You Think You’re Going To Hurl !!
February 24 2007: Lochbroom v Lewis (Morefield, Ullapool) – The Minch Cup
Score: 7 – 0
Report: Lewis’s first game in almost a year showed that their ascent into the proverbial stratosphere of the newly amalgamated realms of shintastronomy will be more difficult than previously perceived. This game, hoped to be the first in a pretty long, unknotted and stringy string of meetings between the two north-western teams to decide the winner of the Minch Cup was, well… pretty fucking vicious, well it was probably tame in comparison to normal senior shinty games, but the combination of the grass pitch and the manic ravings of Manager/Player Eoghan Stewart instilling a fervour of sorts in the hearts and minds of the innocent little Leodhsach children, whipping their puny little bodies into the workings of a finely greased and oiled, lubricated, buttered and generally slippery well-tuned shinty machine, meant that camans and balls and foul words were flying about the pitch like Goose in Top Gun, not Tom Cruise, he’s gay. <(that was a pretty long sentence eh? follow it alright? or am i patronising you? should I get back to writing the wannabe, pseudo-report now?) ye, here we go.. The pitch, which bore an uncanny resemblance to the gradient of a graph of the current through a discharging capacitor over a period of time, was also rather slippy. The less experienced members of the team were not as used to this surface, as they have developed an affinity with the astroturf pitch in Stornoway, which by the way, is shit in comparison to normal grass, seriously, why the hell are we still practisising on it?!! asks your humble narrator Fro… anyway, as I was saying, Eoghan looked rather intimidating, obviously looking to reproduce legendary method actor Robert De Niro’s performance as the perverted, psychotic loner father-in-law in Meet The Fockers.. co-dhiudh, he was doing his best to rally the troops, so good going Eoghan, but we lost, so dont quit your day job.. There may be a promotion on the horizon to full-time goalkeeper for one Mr. Conor Macdonald, seriously, fucking awesome performance dude! kept the half-time score at 1 – 0, with help from a hard-working defence of Gaga (inspirational yet again), debutant Innes, Eoghan and Micheal. Nothing at all wrong with the defence this time, considering all the work they had to do. The midfield was also doing a fine job in the first half, with undisputed man of the match Tyson and the immense Paul Duke ripping it up in the centre of the park. The match was only beginning to get into a flow when starting full forward Bleach got wrong-side and smacked in the face by the very Caucasian one they call Darkie. There was blood and stuff so Dr. Ewen sprinted on with the first aid box and Bleach was taken off to some strange woman’s house for… stitches… Fro was then brought on to try and restore some parity, whatever that means, it sounds important so I’ll leave it there. Anyway, after half time, Ewen replaced Conor in goals and other changes meant the team lost all cohesion and became too slippery for it’s own good. So basically the second half was a debacle of sorts, with people playing out of position<hint hint>, and Niall Iain getting “injured”. You know the rest.. oh, Garry and Kenzie actually played… . Fitness training is nescessary if this adolescent team is going to pass through puberty with all its essential organs well developed and healthy, giving hope for future kids to be introduced to the game and inspired by their local heroes to keep the sport, and the fucking country alive! So well done pretty much everyone, but youre all fat! Some of us got rather drunk on the return ferry journey, and if that is the way Lewis Camanachd celebrate a loss, then let my beer belly grow and my unfitness show! there, we have ourselves the first 2 lines in our official anthem! which shall be sung by Niall Iain, cos I think he proved to us his angelic singing voice in the bar.
also, funny story, one that may go down in the annals(make sure I spelt that right) of Lewis Camanachd’s history: Sean and some mainlander clash, mainlander falls down, Sean apologises/helps him up while the game is still going on, Eoghan yells what, unknown to him at the time, will become a legendary saying in Lewis Camanachd terms:
“Fuck him! It’s Shinty!!”