Arran Ladies on cloud nine after home win
Arran Ladies 9 MC Clydesdale Ladies 6s 1
After last week’s torrential rain the sunshine at Sunday’s hockey match was a welcome change for the ladies of Arran Hockey Club who were playing Milne Craig Clydesdale Western Ladies 6s from Glasgow.
Clydesdale won the toss and chose direction of play, giving Arran the first pass back of the game. The action started right from the first whistle. Team captain Anne Watts passed to midfield player Jenny Stark, who flew quickly up the pitch with the ball, passing to the waiting stick of Lorraine ‘Hurricane’ Hew- ie. She deflected it back to Anne to put it past the goalkeeper, having run into a perfect scoring position. This all happened in the first minute of the game.
Clydesdale came back with determination to this quick attack and a period of turnover play followed for the next half hour. Both teams had strong defence players who blocked challenges at their goals. With sweeper Cat Galbraith feeding balls out to Elyse Aitken, Mia Walker, Hannah McCartney, Kirstie Barton and Dawn McKinnon on the defence and mid lines, it didn’t take long for new team player Hazel Malakoty, Becky Early and Susie Murchie, also in midfield, to pass it on to forwards Helen Thomson, captain Anne and left wing Lorraine to make their presence felt in the Clydesdale goal area.
However, the continued pressure from the visitors’ midfield players, with slick stick work and spirited sprinting, did create a successful break through the Arran defence. Their forwards then pressed into the Arran goal and Clydesdale brought the score back to an even 1-1 with five minutes left to play.
The Arran Ladies weren’t having that, with captain Anne sending mental telepathic messages to Lorraine on the left wing - along with some boggley eyes - she took a quick self-pass at the whistle and sprinted straight towards the Clydesdale goal, knowing Lorraine would understand what she was planning to do. And justifiably so, as Lorraine was in the right place to collect Anne’s pass and put Arran back up to 2 - 1. Not content with one goal ahead, Anne planted the team’s third goal in the back of the net a couple of minutes later, completing a practised set piece from the only short corner of the game.
It was nine minutes into the second half, when a deflection off an ill-positioned defender’s stick resulted in an own goal which gave Arran their fourth of the match. Five more goals were to follow, with excellent ball skills, one-handed stick control and dribbling, drawing out the goalkeeper, switch passing and deadly accurate rocket shots executed by the Arran midfielders and forwards.
Special mention has to go to young player Mia Walker, who received the ball in the D and dropping low, superbly demonstrated
how a reverse stick sweep at goal should be done and was rewarded with one of the six goals of the second half. Her jubilant celebra- tion dance brought smiles to the faces of all the spectators and players of both teams. It was no surprise when she was also nominated dame of the game by the Clydesdale team.
The final score ended 9 - 1 to Arran, as any time a challenge from Clydesdale did break through the Arran defence in this half of the game, Goalkeeper Ali ‘Ninja’ McKie had it covered with her quick and agile footwork and swift stick and pads.
The end of match cheers were led by captain Anne to show appreciation to the effort the young MCCW girls had made and Clydesdale were quick to respond in kind.
A spokeswoman for the club said: ‘Appreciation and thanks also goes to Pauline Reid for continuing to give up her place on the team to umpire the match and to the spectators who came out to support the team on the sidelines. Hearing cheers and encouragement really spurs the team on so thank you all again for coming.
‘Anyone who would like to be part of the club or team are welcome to join us at Thursday night training at the Ormidale Astroturf from 6.30pm to 8pm.
‘We are always happy to welcome more players and team umpires. Training is open to both men and women and boys and girls over the age of 12.’
The Arran Ladies are playing at home again, next Sunday November 5, against GHK 3s, with a 2.15pm push back time.
All supporters are very much appreciated and warmly welcome.
Kirstie Barton and Suzie Murchie work as a team to claim ownership of the ball from opposition players.
An opposition player leaps into the air to avoid a sidewards pass from Lorraine Hewie.
Arran’s Elyse Aitken successfully works her way through the opposition players.
Clydesdale goalkeeper blocks an attempt at goal by Arran’s Lorraine ‘Hurricane’ Hewie.