Youth comes to the fore in opening home encounter

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Arran Ladies 4 MC Clydesdale Western 6’s 0

Arran Ladies Hockey Club captain Lorraine Hewie tried an untested and new team formation using up-and-coming talent in their first home game of the season last Sunday against Glasgow’s Milne Craig Clydesdale Western 6’s, a decision that paid big dividends.

With six regular players absent from the team sheet, it was an opportunity to try something different.  Moving the usual forward line players Anne Watts, Judith Ross and Lorraine into mid-field, and placing Mia Walker, Cerys Herapath and Isla McKelvie into the forward positions, the more experienced players could give direction and assist the youngsters to press forward into the attacking D. Placed in  field positions and providing a passing-mate when they had the ball allowed the younger girls to experience the exciting front line of the Arran Ladies.

They did come up against a very strong defensive line, with the Clydesdale captain and her senior teammate as right back blocking and repelling many efforts made to get into the goal area to shoot.  Then 22 minutes into the first half Ellie Woods won the ball off an attacking forward and switched the playing field with a pass to Lorraine on the left, who carried the ball swiftly forward, passing the ball to Anne waiting at the top of the D – who then made the pass to Mia Walker positioned perfectly at the right goalpost to finish the play with a fantastic sweeping shot into goal. With the ball reset, and strong and accurate passes coming back to Mia from Judith in right mid, a very determined Mia battled her way back into the D and scored again just two minutes later.

Although Clydesdale did press into the Arran goal area several times in the remainder of the first half, goalkeeper Ali ‘Ninja’ McKie and defenders, Faith McKelvie, Ellie Wood, Freya McNicol, Hannah McCartney and new team player Megan McCartney successfully controlled each attack and cleared the balls out of danger.

The second half of the match was very similar to the first, with lots of strong play from both teams, working hard to get past their opposition and into a shooting position.  Susie Murchie joined the team in the left midfield position strengthening Arran’s defence and providing strong passes to the forward.  Yet again the goals did not come until 22 minutes into the second half. This time with a familiar run down the left wing, Lorraine charged into the D and took a shot at goal, the keeper saved the first and second attempts at goal only to be picked back up by Lorraine and with sheer determination and a third time lucky, shotput the ball past the keeper’s right hand side and into the net, giving Arran a 3-0 lead. This was followed shortly after with superb play from Anne making a forceful press with the ball back up the pitch and then positioned herself to receive a passback at the top of the D and fired the ball into the goal, making no mistakes with her accuracy.

The final score ended 4 – 0 to Arran.  Mia Walker was chosen as their Dame of the Game for her outstanding performance during the whole match.

Team captain Lorraine said: ‘ Thanks goes to Pauline Reid for fulfilling the role of team umpire, without which there would be no matches played, and to the spectators who came out to support the team on the sidelines. Hearing cheers and encouragement really spurs the team on.’

Also commenting on the new young players in the team Lorraine added: ‘They did themselves and their team proud with the effort they made, using their set piece passing, never giving up on a challenge and chasing every ball.  It was also great to see them and the other team players successfully using the swivel manoeuvre which we have been practicing on training nights, to keep the ball away from the opposition.

‘Anyone who would like to come to and be part of the club or team are welcome to join us at Thursday night training as we are always happy to welcome more players and team umpires. Training is open to both men and women and boys and girls over the age of 12.’

Training takes place on Thursdays at 7pm to 8.30pm at the Ormidale Astroturf.

The Arran Ladies are playing at home again today (Saturday) against East Kilbride 2’s, with a 1pm push back time.  All supporters are very much appreciated and warmly welcomed.

 

The Arran Ladies Hockey Club team who faced Milne Craig Clydesdale Western 6’s.  01_B40hockey01

Captain Lorraine Hewie avoids strong resistance to take a trio of shots at goal. 01_B40hockey02

Defender Freya McNicol surges ahead to claim possession of the ball. 01_B40hockey03

In her first match for the team Isla McKelvie proves her worth with an impressive show of ability. 01_B40hockey04

Perfectly positioned Dame of the Game Mia Walker slams the ball into goal.  01_B40hockey05

Playing in mid field Anne Watts leaps into the air to avoid a collision with an opposition player. 01_B40hockey06