Arran keep their winning ways in Hillhead match 

Marking their player, Isla McKelvie and Mia Walker flank the opposition.

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Arran Ladies 3

Hillhead Ladies 4s 1

West District Division 3

The Arran Ladies in their second home game of the weekend met up with some familiar faces in the Hillhead Ladies 4s from Glasgow. With Bella Reid, Isla McKelvie and Megan McCartney replacing Anne, Freya and Cerys in the team, the visitors once again won the toss and choose to keep the side they were warming up on.

The Hillhead team were very well practiced and demonstrated many excellent set piece passes, as well as some strong challenging presses into the Arran goal area. Although able to repel many of these attacks, Hillhead were awarded a penalty short corner half way into the first half, from which they scored with a super strike from the top of the ‘D’.

The half time break was an opportunity for a bit of team instruction and clarification on positioning and passing. This paid off with the ball moving much more smoothly between the Arran players, especially down the sidelines. The new, younger players had returned to the pitch with greater determination to fight for every ball that came their way, never giving up tackling and trying to get the ball back and racing towards every free ball.

Arran’s first goal came from a fabulous pass from Ellie to Lorraine who had dodged her opponent and ran unchallenged into the goal circle. With her first shot blocked by the diving goalkeeper, Lorraine dug the ball out and lifted it over the prostrate keeper to bring the score to 1-1. This was followed up by an almost identical play 10 minutes later, when Ellie once again powered the ball to Lorraine at the half way line. With half a pitch to run, and defenders coming into her, Lorraine drew them to the sideline where she was able to outmanoeuvre her opponents and head into the ‘D’ and smack the ball into the back of the goal.

Hillhead pressed hard back into the Arran ‘D’ desperately trying to equalise. Ali ‘Ninja’ McKie was springing from side to side, blocking shots from all angles, much to the utter frustrated groans of the opposition. Faith McKelvie was an absolute rock as sweeper as she kept stopping shot after shot that came into the Arran ‘D’ and calling to the higher defenders to redirect the ball back up the pitch. Ellie and Elyse were happy to oblige.

With Mia picking up balls in centre mid, pushing forward and passing balls to Susie, Isla and Megan, Arran worked their way back into the Hillhead goal area with four minutes to go. Susie, Mia and Isla all took shots at the goal and Lorraine tried for a reverse flick to the top left hand corner but the Hillhead keeper batted them all away. It was young Bella Reid in the perfect position on the right post who was able to pluck the ball away from a defender on the line and push it through the six inch gap between the keeper’s foot pad and the post, bring the final score to a 3-1 win for Arran.

With the Hillhead Ladies heading back to the ferry with packed teas, the Arran team were able to relax in the pavilion with more hot soup and after match teas to discuss and analyse the game. Young Bella said how happy she was with her first goal and how she was enjoying the great atmosphere within the team.

Elyse was able to tell everyone that the Hillhead team had nominated Ellie Wood as dame of the game for a second time that weekend for her excellent skilful play.

A spokeswoman for the club said: ‘A great big thank you to all of the supporters who came to the sidelines to cheer on the Arran team on both days and to Pauline Reid for umpiring the games. The team would like to invite any island and mainland supporters to their next game at Clydesdale Western in Glasgow on Saturday November 2. Push back is 1.30pm and supporters are always warmly welcomed.’

Susie Murchie blasts the ball towards an awaiting Lorraine Hewie. 01_B44hillhead01

Leaving no room to advance Lorraine Hewie prevents her Hillhead opponent from making any progress. 01_B44hillhead02

Marking their player, Isla McKelvie and Mia Walker flank the opposition. 01_B44hillhead03

The one that got away, Ali ‘Ninja’ McKie is unable to prevent a Hillhead goal. 01_B44hillhead04

Mia Walker in centre mid position blasts the ball down the field towards the forwards. 01_B44hillhead05

Bella Reid intercepts the ball to prevent a Hillhead advance. 01_B44hillhead06

Ali ‘Ninja’ McKie repels a powerful and unexpected attempt at goal. 01_B44hillhead07

Susie Murchie makes a concerted effort to score. 01_B44hillhead08