Arran Ladies in the wars in bruising encounter at Uni

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University of Strathclyde Womens 2s   1

Arran Ladies   4

West District Division 3

Arran Ladies travelled with a full compliment of 11 players and a substitute on the first boat on Saturday morning to meet up with the young ladies from Strathclyde University, in Glasgow, for what proved to be a physical and bruising game for many of the players.

Team captain, Elyse Aitken had goalkeeper Ali McKie, Ellie Wood, Faith McKelvie and the multi-position player, Mia Walker, with her in defence. Hannah McCartney, Bella Reid, Annie McKelvie and Megan McNicol – still playing for her home team although at university herself now – all covered mid-field and Cerys Herapath and Judith Ross joined Lorraine Hewie on the team’s forward attacking line.

Returning home, the remaining founding member of the team, Lorraine Hewie summed up the performance by saying: ‘Such a feel good game. Never really felt that we were going to win comfortably but we did!

‘Well done Ellie, fantastic defence and then covering top of the D short corners, both of which resulted in goals – first one was mine and the second short corner and final goal of the game to Ellie herself.

‘Captain Elyse came back to play after a ball to the head and played a blinder. Faith, steadfast and strong throughout as sweeper. Mia, you did the job in defence today, fabulous play. Judith, so good to see you back on the pitch, strong runs, passes and post play to boot resulting in the equalising goal in the first half. Megan you covered centre mid brilliantly, Cerys wonderful work on the left wing, decisive passing and attacking forward. Hannah, what can I say great calm controlled play and a goal to boot to take us into the lead in the second half. Annie and Isabella, both made space, chased balls and battled through.

‘Cannot not mention ninja Ali, broken rib and all, well deserved dame of the game and finally, Pauline Reid, well balanced and clean, clear headed umpiring today. You are super and the whole team appreciate that you sacrifice playing games to umpire for us.

‘Walked away today feeling like this is what playing hockey is all about.’

A club spokeswoman said: ‘The only person not mentioned for her play was Lorraine herself, so a few words to say how much she encouraged all her team mates from her high position on the pitch, giving helpful directional play and congratulations for great play. Constantly moving and giving the mid-fielders someone to pass to, looking for opportunities to use the forwards in a better position to score than herself, making strong and accurate passes so they could continue to pressure the Strathclyde defence.

‘She also recovered to play again when she also took a blow to the head that saw her legs collapse and her team watched her fall to the ground. This came from a back swinging stick, which the defender who did not see Lorraine coming towards her, struck her with. Completely unintentional, but that didn’t stop it making Lorraine see stars. Such was the spirit of the game, that the defender never left her side, until she was completely convinced Lorraine was OK to play on.

‘Well done and many thanks to you all. You all helped contribute to what was one of the best hockey days we have had.’

Having started the game early to help the Arran Ladies catch the 3.15pm ferry home rather than the 6pm, the Strathclyde Uni ladies had packed teas ready to go at the end of the game. So jumping on the Coast to Coast bus, Bobby the bus driver put his foot down and delivered the team to the ferry with less than 10 minutes to spare.

The next game will take place on Saturday December 7 at home to the GHK Ladies 4s, however training will continue on Thursday nights at the Ormidale astroturf pitch from 7pm. Anyone wishing to come along will be made very welcome. The club have plenty of spare sticks and shin guards so visitors have no need for anything other than trainers and warm clothing. The team look forward to seeing new, and some old faces, there.