IAPS Thistles Hockey 

Wednesday 17th November

St. Mary’s Thistles: Olivia R, Bea C, Zara M, Lily T & Beattie M
Venue: Fettes
Last year’s representative matches against the Saltires and the Caledonians were thwarted by Covid, which made this year’s round of matches that much more special. This was the second time we had played as the Thistles; the first encounter in 2019, being clinched by the Saltires (Fettes/Cargilfield).
We met as a squad today in time for a warm up and a bite to eat, whereupon we were up first against the Saltires.
Thistles 2, Saltires 1
What a super start this was. The girls, without exception, played some excellent hockey and dominated in all areas. The opening goal was scored fairly early on and as it turned out proved a St. Mary’s affair! Zara, playing at the back, cleared the ball to Bea in the midfield. Bea went on one of her dazzling runs, past most of the Saltires and into their D. As the keeper readied herself for the shot, Bea feigned her shot and offloaded to Olivia at the top of the D who rocketed the ball past the keeper for the opener! Very satisfying! Beattie, in goal, hadn’t been called to action all that much, so kept a clean sheet, whereupon half time arrived. The Saltires got one back in the second half only to find themselves behind again courtesy of another Olivia goal. Lily came on for the second half and, as with Zara, played really well at the back, so from a personal point of view, I was thrilled that all 5 St. Mary’s representatives played so well and thoroughly proved their selection.

The second game of the afternoon saw the Caledonians draw 1- 1 with the Saltires and that preceded our final game, against the Caledonians.
Thistles 1, Caledonians 2
Having watched their game against the Saltires, we saw the Caledonians had some good players so the girls would have to be at the top of their game. Despite starting with the same eight, we were guilty of allowing the Caledonians a little too much time on the ball and we subsequently fell behind to an individually brilliant goal. We then conceded another at a penalty corner so found ourselves two down at half time. We scored early on in the second half and then threatened several times thereafter to score the equalizer. However, we ran out of time. Yet again, Zara played a super game in defence, strong and very aware of attacking players. Bea played midfield and worked hard, as ever, proving a real handful. Lily in defence also had a good game and grew stronger as the game unfolded. Despite conceding a couple, Beattie made some great saves and should be delighted with her afternoon. Olivia up front was excellent. A constant menace to the opposition and there’s no doubt that the Caledonians cottoned onto her early on and made her job that much harder.
So, upon reflection we all had a fantastic afternoon. The sun shone, well almost and we watched three very well balanced and well contested games. Thanks to Fettes and many congratulations to the girls.
 Mr P



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