Fettes U13 Hockey Tournament
Wednesday 1 Nov
The squad: Jessica (captain), Tegan (GK), Isla, Iona, Rowan, Freya, Maria, Eliza, Mhairi & Hannah C.
Battling through the rain on Soutra, Edinburgh loomed out of the mist and haze. Fortunately, by the time we arrived at Fettes, the drizzle had eased, although it was a tad on the bracing side! Today's annual celebration of hockey at Fettes saw 16 teams split into 4 pools and we were pooled with Kilgraston, George Heriots and Loretto. Matches were 12 minutes one way and first up were Kilgraston.
St. Mary’s 1, Kilgraston 0
We met this Kilgraston side earlier on this season and managed to beat them, so the girls were keen to get the better of them once again. Despite a good warm up, we were quite slow to get going, something that can come back to haunt you in short, tournament matches. Mhairi snuck home the only goal of the game and although it perhaps wasn't the team’s finest game, they all count and what's more it earned the girls 3 points.
St. Mary’s 0 George Heriot’s 4
As expected, Heriots were strong. I had warned the girls that they were going to have to be at the top of their game for this one and whilst defensively we hadn't been taxed in our first game, this was going to be different! Although the Heriots girls dominated, I was pleased that we stuck to the plan and did our best to threaten the Heriots goal. We came close on a couple of occasions but didn't manage to decrease the deficit! Tegan was called upon and responded by making a number of excellent saves. Most of the Heriot’s goals were courtesy of rebounds which the hungry Heriot’s forwards pounced upon before we could clear the ball. The next job was to regroup for the final pool game against Loretto, a must win match for us if we were going to progress in the tournament.
St Mary’s 3 Loretto 3
The opening 6 minutes of this game did not go according to plan. Defensively we seemed to go to sleep and allowed the Loretto girls far too much time and space on the ball. Subsequently we found ourselves three goals down and chasing the game. Something then clicked and the girls found another gear. Our movement was better and all the girls started to show their ability on the ball. They linked superbly, supported one-another and perhaps with another couple of minutes on the clock, may well have scored the winner. Mhairi scored her second of the tournament and Hannah and Eliza also got onto the score sheet. The pick of the goals however was our third. A fantastic break down the right involving Jessica and Rowan, Jessica then drew the remaining defender before passing to Mhairi who was lurking on the far post.
Sadly, however, failing to win this game meant that Loretto beat us to second place in the pool, courtesy of their 0 – 0 draw with Heriot’s in the first game of the afternoon. Subsequently, we then played the team who had come 4th in Pool A, Ardvreck, in the first round of the Plate competition.
St. Mary’s 4, Ardvreck 0
I was pleased to see that in this game, the girls continued on from where they’d left off against Loretto. A couple of early goals put their nerves at bay and allowed them to go on and play some flowing hockey. Freya, Rowan, Eliza and Maria all had good games. Linking well with their defence and attack and working hard off the ball, their stick skills were impressive and they worked the ball around the pitch very effectively. Iona and Isla at the back were busy at times but were much more organised and had good games too. Strong on the ball, they protected it well and distributed it superbly to their midfield. I was also pleased with Hannah and Mhairi, not only because they were both on target, but their movement was much better in this game. They worked hard to gain possession and were very effective when in control. Freya, Mhairi, Hannah and Jessica all scored and this result meant they had earned themselves a Plate semi final against Fettes B.
St. Mary’s 1, Fettes B 0
This was a fun game against a very jovial bunch of girls. The temperature had started to drop and the girls were starting to feel the effects. This was a good win where we managed to dominate play and Iona, Tegan and Isla at the back were not tested too often. Had it not been for some heroics from the Fettes GK, the score might have been somewhat different. As it was however, this a very friendly fixture, played in exactly the spirit the game should be played. Jessica scored the game’s only goal, very apt as she’d played some superb hockey all afternoon, setting up many of the goals we’d scored and only scoring a couple herself.
This win saw us through to the Plate final against Cargilfield but by this time it was getting late, injuries were starting to take their toll so we decided to play a quick 8 minute game.
St. Mary’s 0, Cargilfield 2
Not quite the end we had hoped for! We went straight into this game after our match with Fettes so the girls were tired and it showed. The cold was also setting into some joints and coupled with injuries (on both sides) this wasn’t the girls’ finest moment! Cargilfield had two opportunities and scored on both occasions. The Cargilfield centre forward found herself totally alone in our D and took full advantage. We nearly scored on a couple of occasions but ran out of steam! The majority of the game was played in the Cargilfield half but we couldn’t find that bit extra to make it pay.
Yes, it would have been nice to end the day with a win against a side we beat convincingly previously in the season, but it certainly didn’t spoil what had been a fantastic afternoon. We were all extremely well hosted and looked after by Fettes, our travelling parents from the Borders were in all good voice, whose support was very much appreciated and the noise in the bus on the way back, confirmed that the girls had all enjoyed their afternoon.
Next week we host Loretto at Tweedbank for a 2.15pm start. Mr P.