Honours even in last home game

Jenny Stark and a determined Troon player battle for possession.

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Arran Ladies 1 Troon Ladies 2s 1

West District Division 3

A return of spring sunshine saw the return to form of an Arran hockey side who, with a full compliment of players, competed against Troon Ladies 2s in an evenly matched game at the Ormidale astroturf.

With captain Lorraine Hewie injured and unable play in the club’s last home match of the season, she reluctantly took a place on the sidelines to coach and shout encouragement to the players while team vice captain Elyse Aitken took the coin toss with the Troon captain and led the team of 14 players.

Elyse took her position on the defensive line left, with Ellie Wood on the right, Faith McKelvie as sweeper and Ali McKie in goals.  Megan McCartney and Freya McNicol covered the centre back position and Mia Walker, Hazel Malakoty and Susie Murchie were in mid-field.  Jenny Stark led a young squad of girls: Hannah McCartney, Isla McKelvie, Cerys Herapath and Judith Ross in the forward positions.

Having had a good turn out at training on the Thursday night, the Arran girls soon settled into their game, and a mere four minutes after the whistle blew, Hannah McCartney was in the right position on the left post to deflect the ball into the net.

This however seem to spur on Troon who then tried tirelessly to break through the solid Arran defence line. Unable to succeed, the half time whistle saw the score stay at 1-0.

The second half saw the ball flying up and down the pitch as both sides displayed excellent stick work and ball control but with neither able to assert dominance over the opposing side. Despite some inspired playing from Arran –  with seamless one-on-one player passing between Elyse and Susie, and Hazel, as centre mid intercepting numerous Troon passes and sending the ball into the attacking ‘D’ for the forwards – they were unsuccessful as the Troon goalkeeper and defenders played a tightly packed game and let nothing through.

The visitors had the Arran defence under constant pressure from the start of the second half and goalkeeper Ali ‘Ninja’ Mckie was kept very busy deflecting shots coming from all angles.  The Troon forwards were quick to realise a straight shot at Ali would not get through, so began passing the ball around the ‘D’ hoping to find a gap in the defence.

After 13 minutes Troon were awarded a short corner, and with a well practiced and executed set piece, were able to bring the score to 1-1. With such a balanced game with two equally matched teams, that score remained the same until the full time whistle blew.

Arran led the three cheers for the Troon Ladies and for a game well played, and Troon replied in kind.  Hazel was nominated as dame of the game for her excellent play during the game.  Both teams happily retired to the Ormidale Hotel for refreshments and a chat, where Tommy, Trevor and the staff were waiting with a delicious after match tea.

The Arran Ladies are off for a week but then play another double header on the weekend of Saturday and Sunday April 13 and 14.  The first game is against GHK 4s at their home ground and the Sunday’s game is against Strathclyde University at Stepps hockey ground. All supporters will be very much appreciated and warmly welcomed.

The Arran Ladies hockey team pictured at their last home game of the season. 01_B14hockeyA01

Mia Walker in midfield scans the player positions ahead while forging forward. 01_B14hockeyA02

A Troon player is surrounded, foiling her attempt at goal. 01_B14hockeyA03

Uncomfortably close, goal keeper Ali McKie still manages to repel a Troon goal attempt. 01_B14hockeyA04

Isla McKelvie remains calm under pressure to advance the ball towards the Troon goal. 01_B14hockeyA05

Jenny Stark and a determined Troon player battle for possession. 01_B14hockeyA06

Hazel Malakoty anticipates a Troon players next move to curtail any forward advance. 01_B14hockeyA07