1st VIII Hockey v Belhaven 

Wednesday 9th Oct

 An onlooker might have suggested that our starts against Cargilfield and Dollar were sluggish which allowed our opposition to grab the initiative. Today we were determined to improve that aspect of our game and start playing from the first whistle. The afternoon was bright and breezy but the wind was on the cool side; conditions were good for hockey.
The game started well and it quickly became apparent that we had indeed started as we meant to continue. Neither team dominated play, yet both teams were passing the ball nicely. Freyja, Anna and Daisy perhaps saw the lion’s share of possession in the middle of the pitch but we struggled to penetrate the Belhaven back line. A lack of width made the job easier for the visitors but any foray we made into their circle was dealt with. Kiki and Skye at the back were kept busy and had to be on top of their game. To be fair they too handled the Belhaven threats well and I was pleased to see them making good use of both touch lines when clearing the ball. A short while before the break one missed tackle allowed Belhaven to get a shot away which beat Emma in goal. It was a good shot into the corner which Emma had little chance to get to but that proved the difference between the sides at half time.

The half time chat was quite direct and each player set a personal target, a focus for them in the second period. Freyja concluded the chat with inspirational words of her own and the girls took to the pitch eager to make amends. These tactics paid dividends almost immediately and Iona worked herself into a shooting position in their circle and beat the advancing keeper at her far post. Not content with equalising the girls were straight back at the visitors and within a couple of minutes had taken the lead, this time courtesy of a tap in from Elena. And so it remained for the remainder of the game. I was thrilled with the effort levels from all girls and they worked hard for the win. The second half in particular saw some lovely hockey, stout defending and exciting attacks. Sticks skills were good, passing was strong and our structure was significantly better.
I was very proud of Freyja’s team today. Following a couple of tough games they deserved this win which I hope will set them up for their next game against Loretto at Tweedbank on October 30th.
Mr P.

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