THE GRUTNESS single league hockey competition has begun with Spurs taking an early lead after two wins against Burra and Scalloway. There were also wins for Burra against Delting and Zetland over Whalsay.
Spurs 7, Burra 0
Burra started on the back foot, fielding only nine players. Therefore, Spurs took control and pushed for an early goal.
Burra were soon up to 10 players but Spurs kept the pressure on, building up their attacks.
Spurs’ patience paid off when after a series of penalty corners, Stacey Laurenson struck a textbook shot into the backboards.
The goal gave Spurs confidence and Fiona Shearer, Gwen Malcolmson and Gayle Johnson built up play in the midfield, supporting their forwards. Gail Donohue intercepted a loose ball in the circle, which hadn’t been cleared, and coolly flicked it past the Burra keeper.
Burra fought back, spreading the ball wide to Kristan Robertson and Joyce Adamson. Louise Moar and Irene Gray, for Spurs, calmly thwarted any Burra attacks. This gave Spurs a counter attack to build on their goal tally. A clearance from Moar was driven up the left by Shearer, to Kristen Jeromson, who cleverly scooped the ball into the net using her reverse stick.
Spurs started to play a more passing game, moving the ball around and passing deep and wide. This opened the park for their forwards to run on to loose balls and get the shots away. Another series of corners was awarded and Spurs decided to mix things up. Malcolmson pushed to Laurenson, who faked the shot. Jeromson, again, first timed the ball into the net to claim her second.
Burra tried to retaliate but any runs at the Spurs defence were halted by Emma Inkster, preventing the attacks getting through. At half time the score stood at 5-0 after Donohue placed the ball in the corner for her second of the night.
The second half saw both teams playing very different styles of hockey. Burra came at Spurs with all their might, plumping up their forward line. Spurs relaxed somewhat into a more passing and possession game, bringing their defence into play and utilising all their players.
Spurs scored early on through another penalty from Laurenson but that did not deter Burra, as they continued to use their width. The second half was predominantly end to end, with Spurs having most of the breaks.
Burra keeper Louise Inkster must be commended on her performance, as she prevented Spurs adding to their growing goal tally. Burra pushed forward, and started to upset things for Spurs back three.
As Spurs penetrated their attacking circle, Shearer was in space. She found Donohue waiting outside, who then crossed to Fox. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Fox’s night, as she had difficulty finding the target on many occasions, but persisted none the less.
Shearer completed the night’s goal fest when after a well-worked move between herself, Inkster and Jeromson she slapped the ball into the goal from the penalty spot.
A good team performance by Spurs saw Irene Gray claim player of the match. For Burra Joyce Adamson battled strongly throughout.
Whalsay 1, Zetland 2
Whalsay started confidently with great linking play between Nicola Duthie and Shelley Sandison. However, Zetland’s defence coped well with the early onslaught with Helen Robertson and Lara Jamieson making some well-timed tackles.
Whalsay were caught unaware when Helen Robertson took a strong, overhead pass from defence which surprised the defence. Inga Tulloch received the ball well and went on to score.
Whalsay continued to pile on the pressure in the second half and were very unlucky on a number of occasions before Zoe Irvine, working relentlessly, struck the ball well just inside the circle to level the score.
With only minutes remaining both teams battled to get a result. Zetland were awarded a succession of short corners in which Shona Keith found the backboard in a goalmouth scramble.
Players of the match were Maggie Irvine for Whalsay and Helen Robertson for Zetland.
Scalloway 1, Spurs 3
Spurs started strong and confident with slick passing and didn’t take long to find the back of the net, with Scalloway still trying to find their stride. Emma Gray found herself through with space and made a calculated flick over the kickers of Christine Georgeson in goal, leaving her no chance.
Scalloway tried to rally the troops and cut down the Spurs attack, which was coming mostly down their right side through Stacey Laurenson. Kate Moncrieff worked tirelessly against the formidable side, chasing every ball and showing great determination. However, the well-rehearsed speed passing between Gail Donohue and Laurenson paid off, finding Gray in space at the end of another attack, where she slammed the ball passed the still not settled Scalloway.
Scalloway’s defence was working hard and Christine Georgeson had to make some tremendous saves during a flurry of short corners for Spurs. Mother and daughter Mel and Rhiannon Inkster were kept on their toes in the Scalloway defence, clearing away the onslaught of pressure Spurs were applying.
Spurs didn’t have it all their own way though, and slowly but surely Scalloway started to make their mark. Naomi Johnson, Sara Grogan, Michaela Johnson and Lynne Scollay were influential, linking well together and building up some good solid attacks.
Emma Inkster in the Spurs defence was now soaking up the pressure, and performing just as well as her mother and sister had at the opposite end of the pitch. Although the game was now turning more end-to-end, it was Spurs who scored before half time with Gray making sure of her hat-trick.
Scalloway didn’t let the score damped their spirits and the second half saw them close down the advances of
the Spurs side, and switch play to their advantage, using their right side a bit more. This gave Nicola Smith more opportunity to link in with Mhairi Moncrieff and Rowen Nicolson, with the trio working very well together.
Scalloway were now capitalising on their opportunities and maintaining much more of the possession. Spurs were starting to tire and Scalloway were able to keep their substitutes rolling on and off, keeping the fast flow of attacks going. Rowen Nicolson came close to scoring on more than one occasion, showing great promise for a long and successful hockey career.
Scalloway’s efforts were rewarded when Michaela Johnson scored a fantastic goal, flicking it high into the top left hand corner.
Players of the match were Sarah Grogan for Scalloway and Emma Gray for Spurs.
Burra 1, Delting 0
Both Delting and Burra were missing some players and had recruited juniors.
The first half was end-to-end play with great passing from both sides with even play and chances on goals.
Some great work by Yvonne Manson and Jillian Copland tested the Burra defence but hard work and determination from Rebecca Riley and Kirsty Halcrow cleared the danger.
The scoreline at half time was kept to 0-0 with some great goalkeeping from Delting’s Donna Murray and Burra’s Sarah Couper.
The second half started really fast by both sides with a run of short corners for Delting, who were unlucky not to score.
A great solo run up the pitch from Burra’s Kristan Robertson ended with her crossing in the circle for Megan Halcrow to open the scoring.
Delting came back with some strong play from Jeanetta Williamson and Megan Hibbert but Burra played very well with accurate passing to clear any chance Delting had.
Players of the match were Yvonne Manson for Delting and Burra’s Kristan Robertson.
Monday – Grutness Trophy: Scalloway v Whalsay at 6.30pm (Zetland rep/Kerri Moulder); Delting v Zetland at 7.50pm (Whalsay rep/Kerri Moulder).
Thursday – Shearer Shield: Scalloway v Delting at 6.30pm (Whalsay rep/Simon Skinner); Burra v Whalsay at 7.50pm (Delting rep/Simon Skinner).