Inter-county joy as hockey girls win for first time in seven years

Shetland defender Robert Smith (right) is outstripped by the Orkney winger. <i>Photo: Rae Slater</i> Click to enlarge
Shetland defender Robert Smith (right) is outstripped by the Orkney winger. Photo: Rae Slater Click to enlarge

Shetland are on course to retain the Stuart Cup again after a resounding 3-0 win in the junior inter-county hockey match for the first time in seven years.

The win on Wednesday night, courtesy of three second half goals from Ava Sim, Tammy Anderson and Rowan Nicolson, was the first in Orkney for 16 years. It came after success in the swimming and netball, although the football team lost out 1-0.


Orkney 1 Shetland 0

Shetland started this game brightly when Daniel Johnston was played in and the Orkney goalkeeper did well to block the ball away for a corner.

The corner almost led to a goal with the home defence scrambling the ball away at the far post.

After 10 minutes the visitors had the chance of the match as James Aitken played in a cross from the left and Connor Regan’s cut back was knocked wide by Daniel Johnston with the whole goal gaping.

With Shane Jamieson dominating midfield it only looked a matter of time until Shetland gained the lead, however Orkney began to gain confidence and the Shetland attacks foundered on a committed home defence.

Twenty-five minutes in good work by Daniel Johnston led to a shot from Connor Regan that shaved the far post.

Orkney’s first real chance arrived when their number nine David Delday broke down the right and Graham Rendall shot just wide.

Minutes before the break Shane Jamieson curled a free kick just wide of the far post.

Orkney had the first chance of the second half when Delday spooned the ball over bar when well positioned.

Shetland had the ball in the net minutes later following a long throw from Stuart Goodlad. The ball was flicked in but the Shetland attacker was penalised correctly for climbing all over an Orkney defender.

Slack play in midfield from the visitors led to the only goal of the game. Orkney broke and Graham Rendall sped away down the right and smacked a great shot across the keeper Grant Wood into the far corner.

Shetland responded by taking the game to the home side. David Thomson cracked a shot just wide and Connor Regan did likewise before Shane Jamieson’s header shaved the far post.

Shane played James Aitken through the centre as the visitors rang the changes but his effort crashed off the cross bar. It just wasn’t Shetland’s night.

A very disappointing performance from Shetland whose movement off the ball and composure left a lot to be desired after the first quarter. Two poor, shapeless sides who could hardly string a couple of passes together was the verdict of an experienced Orkney spectator.


<b>Calum Macgregor breaks the record in the 50m butterfly.</b>
Calum Macgregor breaks the record in the 50m butterfly.

Shetland had another convincing win in the swimming, amassing 62 points to the home side’s 32.

Orkney’s only first place came in the opening race, the 50m butterfly, as Morna Brown stormed home in a good time of 31.49, but Shetland took second and third with Megan Nicolson followed by Nicole Petursdottir. Orkney’s Jo Donaldson was fourth.

The boys’ 50m butterfly set the pattern for that side of the competition as the Shetland lads gained first and second in all their races. Calum Macgregor won, setting a new record of 27.29, followed by the former holder Tom Raikes in 27.99.

In the girls’ 50m backstroke Amy Harper improved her own record to 31.40 while Orkney gained second and third through Morna Brown and Ami Garriock with Jessika Swanson fourth.

Felix Gifford won the boys’ 50m backstroke in 30.19 with Calum second in 31.59. Andrea Strachan and Nicole Petursdottir then gained a one-two in the 50 metres breast sroke while Craig Nicolson and Jake Swanson did likewise for the boys. Andrea’s time was 34.86 while Craig achieved a personal best of 34.

The 100 metres freestyle produced another double with Amy Harper pipping Andrea in 1.21 while in the boys’ event Felix Gifford led home Tom Raikes and was only 0.16 away from breaking the record (set way back in 1983) in 54.26.

The girls comfortably won the 4x50m relay with Amy Harper leading off followed by Megan Nicolson, Nicole Petursdottir and finally Andrea Strachan.

The boys turned in a brilliant relay to smash the record set by Shetland back in 2000. Calum Macgregor led off followed by Craig Nicolson, Felix Gifford and finally Tom Raikes and they recorded a time of 1min 43.06 which was around 1.7 seconds inside the old record.

For full coverage, see this Friday’s edition of The Shetland Times.


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