Honours even as Troon take a point

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Arran Ladies 1

Troon Ladies 2nds 1

West District Division 3

Arran Ladies played their first home game of the season against familiar faces from Troon Hockey Club on a fresh and sunny day which attracted a good crowd of  supporters.

Although the sun welcomed the Troon Ladies 2nds to Arran, the heavy downpours the previous days had waterlogged the pitch and if it was not for the dedicated hard work of Kenny Morrison, who was there from early morning, sweeping the pitch of all the excess surface water, sand and silt that had gathered at the top left pitch end which gets no sunshine, the game might not have gone ahead.

Umpire Pauline Reid said: ‘Many Thanks Kenny from us all. Your hard work allowed the two umpires to agree that the pitch was fit to play on. Thanks also goes to the supporters who turned up on the sideline to cheer on the girls for their first home match. It was very much appreciated.’

Captain Elyse Aitken won the toss, chose the shooting direction and gave Troon the ball to start the game. Arran saw the return of Lorraine Hewie and Anne Watts up front on the forward line, with support on the right wing from Cerys Herapath and the versatile Mia Walker, who also played one half in right defence. Susie Murchie, Jenny Stark and Hannah McCartney were behind them in mid-field and Elyse was joined by Ellie Wood and Faith McKelvie in defence. Ali ‘Ninja’ McKie returned to her position between the posts as Arran’s ninja goalkeeper. New team players Bella Reid played in defence and Annie McKelvie played left wing during the game, to see where they felt most effective.

The first half of the game remained scoreless as both teams pressed up the pitch towards the opposition’s goal areas, only to be repelled by the strong solid defensive players and excellent goalkeeping skills. So many balls were turned over by determined mid-field players, that the umpires were running up and down the pitch almost as much as the players.

The second half got off to a more positive start for Arran, as a few minutes into the game Susie retrieved the ball in midfield and passed it to Anne who was clear on her right side. Anne saw Mia sprinting up the right wing and shot the ball to her, where she trapped it at the end of her stick, looked for Lorraine who had run in from the left wing and sent her a perfect square pass. Lorraine enticed the goalkeeper off her line as she pulled back the ball and when she was far enough out, Lorraine spun round her, dropped low and shot the ball off her stick into the goal.

The young, fast and skilful girls of the opposition fought back hard and were rewarded with an equaliser less than 10 minutes later. This was to be the last successful shot of the game as both teams stayed strong in defence, despite many attempts at goal from the ever persistent forwards.

Both teams were happy with the one-all result and got together to chat over drinks at the Douglas Hotel whilst Troon waited for their return ferry.

Young Annie McKelvie had impressed the Troon ladies so much with her dedication and constant effort on the pitch that she was awarded dame of the game from them.

With another positive result and points on the Division table, the Arran Ladies have a couple of weeks off over the October holidays, to recover from a busy summer.

The next game for the Arran Ladies will be another home game on the Astroturf pitch at the Ormidale Pavilion in Brodick on Saturday October 19 against Hillhead 4s. Push back time is booked for 2.30pm and all supporters are invited back and would be very welcome and appreciated.

The Arran Ladies pictured at the start of their first home match. 01_B40hockeyQ01

Mia Walker’s attempt at goal is deflected by the Troon keeper. 01_B40hockeyQ02

Returning player Anne Watts makes a concerted attempt at goal. 01_B40hockeyQ03

Dame of the game Annie McKelvie gets the ball from her defensive D despite tough opposition from Troon. 01_B40hockeyQ04

Jenny Stark surges ahead and claims possession of the ball. 01_B40hockeyQ05

In glorious sunshine Arran players discuss strategy during the half time break. 01_B40hockeyQ06