Arran forge friendly links with Greenock Morton

Demonstrating the friendly nature of the match, Greenock Morton and Arran players pose for a group photograph.

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Greenock Morton 6

Arran Ladies          1

Arran Hockey Club’s senior ladies enjoyed a friendly match against Greenock Morton which featured great play and sportsmanship.

Greenock Morton, recognising Arran only had 10 players, kindly offered to ‘loan’ players throughout the match. This was allowed as all matches this season in the west district ladies league are participatory and non-competitive.

The teams and umpires agreed to play a match of quarters, instead of halves, in line with the structure now used in national and international play.

The friendly bonds did not just extend to the opposition team, with a number of mother/daughter duos evident in the Arran side.

Kaitlyn Haddow made her debut for Arran, supported by mum Suzi Haddow, Arran’s new goalkeeper. Lorraine and Kayla Hewie and Faith and Annie McKelvie were another two mother/daughter duos on the team sheet.

Arran’s remaining numbers were made up of Jenny Crockett, Lee Reid, Helen Thomson and Pauline Reid – the latter of whom is usually the team umpire and who was playing her first proper match in more than three years.

Greenock Morton came out strong, but their first attempt on goal was thwarted by a spectacular save from Suzi who batted the high ball away with her right-hand pad.

Arran came back on the attack and it wasn’t long before they got their own shot on goal – a wonderful reverse flick by Lorraine which unfortunately just missed the mark.

By half-time, Greenock Morton were 3-0 up but the atmosphere on the pitch remained energetic, friendly and fun. Each lady from Greenock Morton who played for Arran gave their absolute all, playing as though they were a regular island player.

Arran’s only goal was scored by Lorraine and the game ended 6-1 to Greenock. However, all the players departed the pitch in high spirits.

The friendly nature of the match quickly led to talks of Arran hosting Greenock Morton on the island for a friendly and social in the summer.

A club spokeswoman said: ‘Rarely do you find a team that you instantly connect with, who you have a laugh with and know that you would happily play time and time again. The endorphins felt coming out of a game is exactly why many of us get into hockey in the first place.

‘Arran ladies thank Billy Dunlop for giving up his time to umpire this match which allowed some of our players to enjoy time on the pitch. Thanks also to Greenock Morton for their fantastic sportsmanship.’

The team voted goalie Suzi ‘dame of the game’, in recognition of some heroic saves and an overall outstanding performance in what was only her third match.

Arran ladies are away to Dumfries tomorrow, Saturday February 5 – ferries permitting – but will be back on home soil on Saturday February 12 when they play Troon with a 11.30am passback. All supporters welcome.