Arran tie against Uddingston in first match of the season

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Arran 3

Uddingston 3s 3

With their very first scheduled game of the season against Dumfries 2s conceded, the Arran ladies faced their first competitive game of the season against Uddingston 3s in the West District 3rd division.

Elyse Aitken, the new team captain advised that Faith McKelvie, Ellie Wood and Helen Thomson would be joining her and goalkeeper Alison ‘Ninja’ McKie in defense. Susie Murchie and Jenny Stark would be in mid-field and Megan McNicol, Cerys Herapath and Mia Walker would play forwards. New team members Bella Reid and Annie McKelvie, both aged 12, were playing their first ever competitive game and would be helping out in mid-field and up front with the attacking forwards.

The first of three excellent goals started with a rocket shot from Helen into a space in the Uddingston goal area where Jenny dived to swipe the ball past the goalkeeper. A spectacular shot which received applause from both sides. Uddingston replied with a goal of their own a few minutes later, but Arran went back into the lead when new recruit, Bella, took the ball off her opponent, passed it to Helen who shot it to Megan. She tapped it past her defender and onto Jenny to hit it into the goal, with a single handed reverse stick. Helen’s long shots seemed to confuse the other side who played a short pass and running game and because of this left lots of space undefended.

The first goal of second half went to Uddingston but the Arran forwards soon drove the ball back towards the opposition’s goal area where Susie tried to score from the far side of the shooting circle. It hit the post and rebounded back into play and Cerys, beautifully positioned on the far post, was waiting to collect it and calmly lifted it over the leg of the goalkeeper to bring Arran back into the lead.

Once again the very determined home team came back and drew level with 20 minutes left to play. Both teams were very evenly matched and were able to push the ball into attacking positions only to be repelled by the strong defensive players. One dangerous Uddingston challenge was swept clear off the line by captain Elyse, denying them a winning goal. Ellie, playing center back, was often surrounded with two or three players trying to get the ball off her. Her strong stick skills allowed her to deny them the ball and fire it back into mid-field. Mia was in position many-a-time to collect it, dodge her opponent and send it further up-field. Young Annie was quick off the mark to run onto any ball she could get to and make a pass to her team mates. Although tiring, in sweltering September sunshine, toward the end of the game both Jenny and Megan tried again and again to make it into the circle for a shot on goal, keeping Uddingston under pressure until the final whistle blew, bringing the game to a 3-all draw.

Jenny Stark was awarded Dame of Game by the Uddingston team for her impressive diving goal and her performance on the pitch throughout the game.

The next game for the Arran ladies will be at home on the Astroturf pitch at the Ormidale Pavilion in Brodick today, Saturday, against Troon 2s. Push back is at noon and all supporters and side line cheerers would be very welcome and appreciated.

Photographs: Arran Ladies Hockey Club

Alison ‘Ninja’ McKie lives up to her namesake and prevents an attempt at goal. No_B39hockey01

Mia Walker powers the ball past her opponent. No_B39hockey02

Jenny Stark outwits her opponent to claim possession of the ball. No_B39hockey03