1st VIII Hockey v Belhaven

Wednesday 12th October
Belhaven 1, St. Mary’s 1
This afternoon’s game with Belhaven was very well contested with both teams giving their all. We had previously met at the Loretto 7s, where games were only 15 minutes and again there had been nothing to split the sides. I had hoped that we might have got the edge today but alas, it wasn’t to be.
We arrived in plenty of time for a good warm up and the girls seemed fired up and ready for action by the time we started. The first half was scrappy to begin with. Neither team managed to retain possession for any length of time and as a result, we were unable to make many inroads into the Belhaven D. That said, as the girls relaxed into game, we began to see some better hockey and chances started to present themselves. At one point, Jess made what was probably the save of the season, courtesy of her lightening reactions which undoubtedly kept us in the running. At the other end, the Belhaven keeper was being put under increasing pressure and was called upon to make a few cracking saves of her own.
In the second half with the scores still locked at 0 – 0, more and more chances were being created and eventually Jessica managed to get on the end of a cross from Lucy and swept home the opening goal of the game. I had hoped to build upon this lead as we seemed to be in the ascendency, however, almost from the restart, our defense were caught off guard and Belhaven equalized. I don’t think our lead lasted longer than 30 seconds! From then on we continued to apply pressure on the Belhaven defense and just seconds before the final whistle, we won ourselves a short corner. Both teams were reminded that once the ball was cleared or indeed a goal had been scored, the game would finish. This was our first corner of the game and a final chance to clinch victory. Alas, Belhaven managed to clear the ball before we had manufactured a shot, so the game finished 1 – 1.
Upfront, Jessica and Lucy had played well and perhaps deserved more for their efforts. More lateral movement would have created better channels for the midfield to use. Millie, Naesi, Georgia and Abbie in the midfield worked hard and became better at keeping our structure. They supplied some good balls for the front two and also tracked back well to support their defense. Chloe and Eloise were kept busy and I was impressed by their growing confidence on the ball and with their stick skills on show. Remember to be mindful of the opposition forwards. As mentioned, Jess had another good game in goal and made some excellent saves. I heard some good communication with her back line too.
So, another close game and perhaps one where we might have snatched victory. However, the noise on the bus during the return journey suggested the girls had all had a great time which is ultimately the most important thing. After half term (first day back) we head to Crieff for the annual encounter with Ardvreck, 2pm start.
Mr P.

Jules Birdsall, 13/10/2016

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