1st VIII Hockey v Kilgraston

Wednesday 21st September
The squad: Lucy (capt), Jess (GK), Chloe, Eloise, Millie, Abbie, Naesi & Jessica
Kilgraston 0, St. Mary’s 5
1st hockey 21916

Thanks to road works and the volume of traffic on route to Kilgraston this afternoon, we arrived slightly late and subsequently only had a quick warm up. The lack of preparation showed initially during the first half but as you can see, the girls managed to turn things around and in the end, played some fantastic hockey.
For the first half of the game, Kilgraston were in the ascendency and asked a lot of Jess, Eloise and Chloe in our defense. Attack after attack came their way but they stayed strong, maintained their formation and ultimately proved too solid for our hosts. Our midfield of Abbie, Millie and Naesi also played quite defensive roles in the first half, in support of the back line. Few offensive opportunities presented themselves and those that did, were quickly snuffed out by a couple of very resilient Kilgraston defenders. However, as half time approached, Millie, Abbie and Jessica worked the ball around the Kilgraston midfield and threaded a lovely pass through to Lucy who rounded their last defender and reverse-sticked the ball into the goal. A superb opportunist goal which gave us a nice little cushion at half time.
In the second half we played a much more offensive game and gradually started to dominate possession. That said, it remained 1 – 0 until there was only about 5 minutes of the game left, whereupon we enjoyed a five minute spell during which we seemed to catch the Kilgraston girls off guard. Lucy scored the second goal of the day, closely followed by Jessica who got on the end of a lovely passage of play to make it 3 – 0. Then, twice from the Kilgraston restart, Lucy & Jessica managed to intercept the ball and dribble the length of the pitch to score their team’s 4th and 5th of the game, Lucy scoring another 2. So, barring the final five minutes of the game, this was a very even contest but I was thrilled with our performance. The girls worked so hard off the ball, our marking defensively was vastly improved and the girls thoroughly deserved their win.
Very well done today, girls. You all played very well and linked superbly with each other. Next week we welcome Cargilfield to Tweedbank for a 3.00pm start.
Mr P.
Player profiles
 Jess K: great awareness today, 1st half especially. Positionally very astute and clinical with clearances. Clear it wide and keep in contact with your defense.
Eloise: some notable interceptions and clearances today. Well done. Careful you don’t get caught out of position by a quick break and always stay goal side of your attackers. 
Chloe: very strong at the back. Great body position and technique when sweeping the ball clear. Vastly improved awareness of your surroundings today – great progress.
Abbie: great second half, slightly hesitant I thought in the first. You were the key play maker in the second half, strong on the ball, good vision and some impressive skills.
Naesi: slow start today but a good second half, much stronger on the ball, good skills, good awareness of support players and good work rate. I need all that from the outset next time!
Millie: again, a much better second half. Some lovely breaks down the wing. Keep that ball close, try to keep your body position lower to the ground. Control will be easier! Good today.
Lucy: a quiet 1st half I thought but an explosive 2nd! Some great skills on show. You track wide very effectively and subsequently receive some good ball. Lift your head! 4 great goals!
Jessica: certainly not out of place in this team. You have great skills, keep that ball close to you and two hands on your stick. Great work rate, positionally you got better. Impressive!

Jules Birdsall, 23/09/2016

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