Arran Ladies end their season on a high note

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GHK Ladies 3s 3

Arran Ladies 4

The Arran ladies ended their season on a high note with a hard fought victory in an away game against Glasgow High Kelvinside (GHK) Ladies 3s.

The squad of 13, led by captain Annie Watts and vice captain Lorraine ‘Hurricane’ Hewie, were desperate for a good result to secure their position in an incredibly closely run contest in division 3 of the West District women’s hockey league.

GHK won the toss and chose first passback. Arran enjoyed a good deal of possession in the first half and vice captain Lorraine ‘Hurricane’ Hewie was able to kick start the scoring with a reverse stick sweep into goal putting Arran one up.

GHK retaliated with a strong press into the Arran 23-metre area, but the defensive line of Elyse Aitken, Ellie Wood, Freya McNicol and Mia Walker – all moving in co-ordination with returning sweeper Jenny Stark – were able to fend off many of the challenges and returning the ball up-field to the waiting sticks of Susie Murchie, Megan McNicol, Hazel Malakoty and Abbie McKelvie in midfield.

The few shots that did get through the defensive line were quickly cleared away by stand-in goalie Pauline Reid – who made her third appearance this season as a player rather than having to, out of necessity, umpire.

Play was very evenly spread between the two teams for the remainder of the first half  when a final minute challenge from a GHK striker brought a new threat into the Arran D. On approaching goal the player collided with goalkeeper Pauline Reid as she moved forward to close down the shooting angle. Distracted by the impact and concerned for the player’s safety, Pauline stopped playing to ascertain whether or not the striker had been injured. The player was unharmed but, during the kafuffle, the ball, still in motion, rolled into the goal bringing the half time score to one all.

The second half saw the Arran forwards, Lorraine Hewie, Annie Watts and Helen Thomson put the home team defence under strong pressure from the outset. The pace of the game was phenomenal. Both sides giving 100 per cent, exhibiting commitment and determination and both striving to retain possession.

GHK succeeded in scoring a second goal but Arran Ladies’ spirit was undiminished. Susie Murchie began the counter attack, pressing into the opposition’s D. Picking up a rebound, she shot for goal. The ball was obstructed by the body of a GHK player, preventing its entry into goal. A penalty stroke was awarded to Arran for the foul. Captain Annie Watts stepped up, executing a masterful shot which sent the goalie towards the left post – whilst flicking the ball passed her right side into the back of the net.

Undeterred GHK kept fighting and were able to score again. As the game progressed, an excellent free hit taken by Elyse Aitken, sent the ball straight to Lorraine ‘Hurricane’ Hewie who passed it into space to be picked up by Annie Watts. Running the ball forward into the D Annie was able, once again, to break through the opposition’s defence, sending a powerful, precise shot into the back of the net and giving Arran Ladies their third goal.

This was a very evenly contested game and neither teams were willing to concede or give up. At three all, with everything to play for, and only two minutes left, Arran were awarded another short corner after the ball found the foot of a GHK defender in the D. Lorraine ‘Hurricane’ Hewie injected the ball to team mate Susie Murchie whose crisp return pass enabled Lorraine to sweep the ball towards goal where Hazel Malakoty was on hand to provide the delicate final touch which deflected the ball home, to make final score 4-3 to Arran.

GHK awarded captain Annie Watts dame of the game for her tireless running, intuitive reading of the game and her brace of goals. Captain Annie Watts said: ‘It is always a pleasure to play GHK, the standard of their hockey forces us to up our game, making for a very enjoyable competition. Their sportsmanship, humour and hospitality are a credit to their club.

‘It was a very tight game, but a fantastic team effort, one we can all be very proud of. The season is drawing to a close and we will end fourth or fifth in the league table having been promoted to the third division last summer.

‘A valiant effort by anybody’s standards and given the limited resources available to the club and the small pool of players we have, this is an outstanding achievement!

‘A true delight to end the season with a victory. Arran Ladies would like to extend a huge thank you to Emma Granger of Western Wildcats for umpiring Saturday’s match. As ever, big hugs to our supporters, you are absolutely fabulous and we hope to see you all next season!’

Hockey training will continue at the Ormidale astroturf pitch on a Thursday night from 6.30pm to 8pm, interested players and supporters are all welcome.

 

Arran Ladies end their season on a high note with victory and a post game photo. No_B13hockey01