George Watson's P7 Hockey Tournament

Saturday 11th March
The squad: Phoebe B, Anna M, Sumaiyah C, Molly S, Rosie P, Mhairi B, Maria I, Eliza Y, Jessica W (captain) & Hannah C

P7 Hockey GWC

The format for today’s tournament at Peffermill has remained unchanged for as long as I can remember. 16 teams split into four Pools so each team plays 3 pool matches. The winners of each Pool then progress through to the Cup semi finals, the runners up in each Pool progress through to the Plate semi finals, third placed teams go through to the Bowl semi finals and fourth placed teams in each Pool, go through to the Medal semi finals. Depending upon the results of those games, each team then gets a further match against either the winners or losers of each semi final. So, regardless of which competition you end up playing in, you’re guaranteed 5 games.

George Watson’s B, George Heriot’s and Dollar Academy were in our Pool and first up was Watson’s B.

St. Mary’s 2, George Watson’s B 1

Having arrived with ample time to warm up, the girls were firing on all cylinders for our first game of the morning. Matches were all 12 minutes one way, so a good start was imperative. Watson’s had some strong girls in their side and at times we were guilty of standing back and admiring them! Subsequently, we went a goal down when one of their mid-field players collected the ball in her own half and dribbled, unchallenged, all the way to our goal and scored! Perhaps that was what was needed to check the girls into action. From then on, we were a constant threat and thoroughly deserved the two goals we scored. When the final whistle went, we were in control of the game and might have scored a couple more.

St. Mary’s 2, Dollar 2

There was no rest before our game against Dollar, literally just two minutes to debrief after the first game and talk tactics for this one. Again, the girls we were facing were strong and very skilful but we were slightly more street wise this time and kept lines of communication open to much greater affect. Just as well too because we were under the cosh for much of this game and despite taking the lead, soon found ourselves 1-2 down. However, as the final few minutes played themselves out, defensively we were very cohesive which allowed the forwards to remain high up the pitch and moments before the game ended, we equalised to earn ourselves a much deserved draw; a great result against a team that has been extremely successful this season.

St. Mary’s 0, Heriot’s 2

Heriot’s had won their opening two games so we knew this would be a tall order. However, the girls battled relentlessly and threw everything into this game.
Again, much of the game was played in our half of the pitch and although we threatened their goal on a few occasions, Heriot’s were the better side and so probably deserved to win.

All scores collated, we missed out on coming second in the Pool by the narrowest of margins. Heriot’s won the Pool and Dollar ended up coming second on goal difference. We had both scored 4 but Dollar had only conceded 4 and we had conceded 5 so we came third and progressed through to the Bowl semi final.

Bowl semi final: St. Mary’s 2, St. Aloysius 1

In the Bowl semi final we met St. Aloysius from Glasgow, a tall and tenacious side who seemed equally as intent on getting through to the Bowl final as we did!

It started to all come together during this game. Defensively we were strong and well structured, quashing their attacks and protecting our goal very efficiently.

Up front we looked menacing although our first goal didn’t come until mid way through the match. This was quickly followed by our second and when St. Aloysius got one back, time was against them and the girls had managed to secure the win that they had fought so hard to get.
Bowl final: St. Mary’s 0, High School of Glasgow 0 (HSoG won 2 – 0 on running penalties)

We had a short break before heading back onto the pitch for the final, enough for the girls to refuel and discuss tactics. We’d watched the HSoG girls who, although well matched for size, were a skilful and well-drilled side. Again, the final was 12 minutes one way and for the entire 12 minutes, it really was end to end! Both goalies were called upon to make saves and arguably, both teams had chances to take the lead. However, time beat both of us and so it was to be decided on running penalties.

Running penalties: players have 12 seconds to dribble the ball from the half way line, beat the goalie and score. Once the ball enters the D, the penalty stops when either a goal is scored or the ball goes back out of the shooting D. Three players from each team take alternate penalties.
Jessica, Hannah and Mhairi were brave enough to step up to the mark and take our penalties. However, some decisive stick work and goal keeping from the HSoG girls, warranted them the win, a bitter pill to swallow because, as we’ve experienced before, running penalties are never an easy way to exit a tournament!

So near but yet so far! Mrs Scott Aiton and I were extremely proud of our girls and they had lots to be proud of too. Mostly P6 age, they were up against girls much older and stronger than them so all things considered, to come away with 2 wins and a draw was certainly a fine achievement.

As ever, the tournament ran like clockwork and all the girls thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to play on such lovely, water based pitches. Thank you to the Watson’s staff and also to all the St. Mary’s travelling parents; your support was much appreciated.

Mr P.

Jules Birdsall, 13/03/2017

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