1st VIII Hockey

Fettes Hockey Tournament 2016
Wednesday 2nd November

1st hockey 2 november 
The squad: Lucy (captain), Jess (GK), Georgia, Chloe, Abbie, Anna, Mille, Naesi & Jessica
Today’s annual hockey extravaganza at Fettes was once again a rip-roaring success, perhaps not from our progress through the tournament point of view, but certainly from enjoyment and sporting prospectives. 16 teams were split into four Pools, where each team played each other in a round robin format. The winners and runners up in each Pool then progressed through to the knock out stages (quarter finals). In our Pool we had Riley House, Loretto and George Watson’s, however Riley didn’t show, so our first game was against Loretto.
St. Mary’s 3, Loretto 0
This was a great opening game to our tournament. Despite missing their first scheduled match with Riley House, the girls hit the ground running and played some fantastic hockey. We were in the ascendency for the majority of the 12 minutes and had we not fired shot after shot straight at the Loretto GK, then the score line would have been considerably different. Georgia and Chloe in defense had little defending to do, but stepped up and supported our attack very effectively. Anna, Abbie, Naesi and Millie in the mid-field controlled the game well which allowed both Lucy and Jessica to remain high up the pitch and pressurize the Loretto goal. These combinations worked very well and we scored 3 great goals, two from Lucy and 1 from Jessica.
St. Mary’s 1, George-Watson’s 1
This game was always going to be a very different kettle of fish. In their opening game, Watson’s beat Loretto 2 – 0, so, having scored 3 against Loretto, anything other than a loss to Watson’s would result in St. Mary’s topping the Pool.
We again started strongly and after 5 minutes scored from a short corner, courtesy of a great strike from Abbie. This got the blood pumping and the girls continued to pressurize the Watson’s goal. Minutes before the whistle, a bouncing clearance from the Watson’s defense, beat our midfield and defensive lines and found a Watson’s forward on the edge of our D. Despite Chloe’s best attempts, she so nearly got back to prevent the shot however, the shot beat her and the advancing Jess, rebounded off Jess’s pads and into the goal for the equalizer. This then had a profound effect on the Waston’s team and spurred them on no end. With the game then in the balance, the hooter went, the game finished    1 – 1, which meant we had won the Pool.
Having won our Pool we then supposedly were due a slightly easier game in the quarter finals against the runners up of another Pool; I wouldn’t regard Dollar though as a slightly easier game! However, Fettes won that Pool so perhaps playing Dollar was the better option!?
St. Mary’s 0, Dollar 2
A slightly flattering score line I thought for Dollar, who were good but not 2 goals better than us, in my opinion anyway. This game saw us pressurize their goal as much as they did ours, the difference being they found the back of the net twice and our shots either hit their GK or went wide. The girls played their socks off and worked so hard off the ball. One or two touches, had they been better, would have presented golden opportunities to score. However, it didn’t happen and it signaled the end of our tournament.
Having only played 3 games I managed to arrange another game with St. George’s, a ‘friendly’, out with the tournament. This was a great game and a fitting way to end the afternoon. We played on a full sized pitch, which the girls loved and they leant us one player in order that we could play 10 aside.
St. Mary’s 2, St. George’s 0
The extra time and space on the ball during this game really allowed the girls to show their skills and subsequently we played some of the best hockey of the day. We were slightly limited to time so played one 20 minute half and within the opening 2 minutes, Lucy worked some space in the D to shoot and score the opening goal. Abbie then scored our second, the result to a resounding strike from the edge of the D. During the course of the 20 minutes, I was delighted to see all 9 girls play so well. Understandably, fitness levels began to wane towards the end but short corners were looking good, free hits were being taken quickly, support for one-another was excellent as were the triangles that we have invested considerable time practicing. So all in all, it was a lovely way to end the day.
My thanks to Mrs Hutchison for her support, to Mrs McCorquodale and Mrs Wright for braving the chilly conditions and to Fettes for hosting yet another superb day.
Next week we travel to Loretto for a 2.30pm start.
Mr P

Jules Birdsall, 03/11/2016

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