Whalsay clinch final hockey trophy of season after play-off with Burra

The Grutness Trophy was presented by Mildred Blance to a delighted Maggie Irvine, dubbed stalwart of the Whalsay team by her captain Maree Simpson. Photo: Kevin Jones. Click to enlarge photo.
The Grutness Trophy was presented by Mildred Blance to a delighted Maggie Irvine, dubbed stalwart of the Whalsay team by her captain Maree Simpson. Click on image to enlarge.

Whalsay won the Grutness Trophy, the final competition of the senior outdoor hockey season, by beating Burra 2-1 in a play-off after both teams had ended their five league games level on nine points.

Grutness Trophy

Spurs 0, Burra 2

The game started at a frantic pace with Burra gunning for victory after not managing to gain any points from Spurs all season.

Burra pressed hard with Spurs taking longer to settle having not played for three weeks. Switching play resulted in Stacey Laurenson, Josie Jamieson and Kristan Robertson penetrating the Spurs goal. However, Elaine Smith commanded her defence well with Rona Simpson, Irene Gray, Gayle Johnson and Fiona Shearer marking tightly at all times.

Spurs eventually woke up and turned the tables with Emma Inkster, Lara Thomason and Karen MacKay working well up the middle, but they struggled at times to push out wide.

A good period of pressure was building up on the Spurs left side with both Kristen Jeromson and Shearer making runs into the Burra circle. Shearer cleverly played into the feet of a Burra defender, resulting in a run of penalty corners for Spurs. A first time strike from Morag Fox looked goal bound, until Sarah Cooper in goal stretched to save at the post. MacKay latched on to the rebound, but was unlucky to see her shot go wide of the post.

At this stage Spurs appeared in control and were setting up well. This created difficulty for Louise Kok, Julia Halcrow and Kayti Jeromson when clearing out of their defence. A good interception by Thomason found Sarah Grogan on the right, who ran circles around her opponents. Again, timely passing between Fox, Grogan and Johnson made interceptions difficult for Burra. The ball was fed through to Shearer, but her strike on goal clipped the post to go out of play.

Burra reorganised and raised their game, a new lease of life and belief seeing them break free on the counter attack on many occasions. The speed of Robertson and Jamieson were beginning to wrong foot the Spurs defence, who were at times leaving their threatening counterparts unmarked. Long-range hits were launched from Laurenson, but Simpson and Gray were managing to clear up ably.

Play remained even for the rest of the first half. Jeromson and Shearer began closing rank on Jamieson, forcing her to pass deep and wide. However, a loose ball fell to Laurenson in mid-park who switched the ball out wide left for Burra. Meantime, Robertson had sprinted into the Spurs goalmouth. She collected the ball with ease, and made no mistake in firing the ball into the backboards. Unfortunately for Spurs the half time whistle blew seconds later.

Both teams came out after the break raring to go. Burra, full guns blazing, penetrated the Spurs defence – who were at times at sixes and sevens. Following 10 minutes, a well-worked manoeuvre by Joyce Adamson resulted in a penalty corner for Burra. Laurenson made no mistake in slamming the ball home, leaving Smith in goal no chance.

Spurs continued to fight back and Smith was called upon to make numerous saves. Fox, Grogan and Johnson again worked their magic on the right, with good feeding out from Inkster, Thomason and Simpson.

Jeromson and Shearer were again pressurising from the left, resulting in a series of penalties for Spurs. However, they could find no way through the Burra defence, with Cooper in fine form and saving everything that came her way.

A counter attack by Burra in the dying minutes found Laurenson one on one with the keeper at the top of the circle. Thankfully, Shearer closed her down in time to get the challenge in, just as the final whistle blew.

Players of the match were goalkeepers Sarah Cooper (Burra) and Elaine Smith (Spurs).

Whalsay 3, Zetland 1

Whalsay made several impressive passing moves into the Zetland circle but failed to take the lead. They maintained this pressure throughout the first half but great defending by Helen Robertson and Debie Kane broke up their determined play.

Zetland were dangerous on the break, but any attacks were ably dealt with by Dianne Shearer and Maree Simpson, resulting in a goalless first half.

In the second half Whalsay stepped up a gear with Maggie Irvine distributing effective passes to both wings. From one of these, Zoe Irvine drove up the right and swung a great ball into the circle. This was met by Fiona Dally who slammed in the first goal.

Buoyed by this, Whalsay increased their lead to 3-0 in the space of six minutes with further goals from Victoria Duthie and Angelina Jamieson.

Zetland scored a consolation goal in the dying minutes when a long corner was driven into the circle and swept into the goal at point-blank range by Maisie Unsworth.

Players of the match were Maggie Irvine for Whalsay and Zetland’s Helen Robertson.

Zetland 0, Spurs 9

Zetland were only able to field nine players and defended brilliantly. Spurs did their best to capitalise on their two extra players but Debie Kane made many excellent saves and Dawn Anderson, Wilma Sim and Lara Jamieson tackled hard to keep their goalie well protected.

Zetland weren’t without chances and the pace of Stacey Gardner and Aimee Keith kept the Spurs defence on their toes winning a short corner. Natasha Graham was unlucky not to score from close range on the back post. After 29 minutes Zetland were caught out when the ball broke down the right and Fiona Shearer connected well with a cross from Gayle Johnson and swept her shot past the Zetland keeper.

Spurs went on to dominate the second half as Zetland saw Dawn Anderson taken off with a head knock. Down to eight, Zetland were outnumbered and Spurs went on to add another eight goals by Kristen Jeromson, Morag Fox (2), Sarah Grogan, Susan Morrison (2) Fiona Shearer and Lara Thomason.

Special mention must be made for the Zetland players who remained ever determined to the end and continued to press forward. Shona and Aimee Keith ran to the final whistle, Debie Kane made countless saves and was player of the match for Zetland.

For Spurs Gayle Johnson received the best player award for not being on the score sheet but being involved in setting up a number of scoring opportunities.

League play-off

Burra 1, Whalsay 2

Whalsay had many chances down the wings with Maree Simpson and Victoria Duthie linking well together, but the Burra defence kept them at bay with Julia Halcrow stopping many chances on goal.

At the 12th minute Whalsay got through the defence and Angelina Jamieson of Whalsay made no mistake to open the scoring.

Burra upped their game and started fighting back, with Kirsty and Vicky Anderson linking balls to Kristan Robertson and Stacey Laurenson. However, all attempts on goal were stopped by the Whalsay defence, with Maggie Irvine intercepting many passes to start the build up for her team’s attack.

Two minutes in from the start of the first half, Burra gained a short corner which was impressively put away by Stacey Laurenson with the ball thundering off the backboard. Whalsay got their second goal as Natalie Polson penetrated the Burra circle in the 10th minute.

Burra worked tirelessly to pull back, with Laurenson and Josie Jamieson just hitting wide of the goals. Burra’s solid defence stopped any more chances for Whalsay to pull further ahead.

Burra had most of the pressure in the dying minutes of the game and were very unlucky not to convert their penalty corner at the end of the match.

It was very exciting match for players and spectators alike to end the season, with the players of the match adjudged to be Vicky Anderson for Burra and Natalie Polson for Whalsay.

The Grutness Trophy was presented by Mildred Blance to the delighted Maggie Irvine, dubbed stalwart of the Whalsay team by her captain Maree Simpson.

Seven-a-side mixed league

The competition was played half pitch with 15-minute games. In group one Saracens defeated Ness 1-0 while Lobbyless failed to show up, Saracens and Ness both receiving the points.

In group two Whalsay and New Revolution both defeated Zetland 1-0 and then fought out a 1-1 draw.

The semi-finals saw New Revolution beat Saracens 1-0 on penalty flicks after a 0-0 draw and Whalsay defeat Ness 1-0.

In the final Whalsay were victorious over New Revolution, again 2-1 on penalty flicks after a 1-1 draw.

Award evening

The Shetland Ladies Hockey Association presentation evening will be held in Islesburgh Community Centre Room 16 on Saturday 26th September from 7pm to 10.30pm. Tickets cost £12 and there will be a buffet and the raffle drawn.

A spokeswoman said they were hoping for a good turnout of players and guests to celebrate the excellent 2009 season.


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