Delting and Whalsay were the strongest starters as the outdoor hockey season got under way again, the former seeing off Scalloway and the latter with a comfortable victory over Zetland.
Delting 2, Scalloway 0
The 2010 hockey season got underway with the home team Delting settling well into their stride. With a neat 11 they were able to combine passing in order to create dangerous breaks into the Scalloway defence. Scalloway worked hard throughout the first 20 minutes to find a rhythm and made good use of their two substitutes to keep up a high pace.
Several penalty corners were awarded to Delting which were, at first, well defended by Christine Georgeson, Ann Marie Robinson, Rhiannon Inkster and Naomi Johnson. Scalloway were strong on the break with Emily Tait running onto a through ball, however Megan Hibbert, in goal, managed to clear the ball out of danger for Delting. With only one minute till half time Linda Gunn managed to capitalise on a close range opportunity to open the scoring for Delting.
Scalloway started the stronger team at the beginning of the second half. Mhairi Moncrieff, Sarah Groat, Andrea Henderson and Nadia Nicholson built up play around the edge of the Delting D. Megan Nicholson, now in goals for Delting, dealt admirably with the two strikes on goal early on in the second half.
Delting began again to show strength and composure. Jillian Copland, Julie Kirkness, Lorainne Johnson, Kerry Burgess and Linda Gunn used the full width of the park to pull the Scalloway defence under pressure and create space. Rowan Nicolson and Megan Hibbert both commanded the left side of the circle and following a cross from Jillian Copland Megan found the net to take Delting’s second.
Players of the match were Rowan Nicolson for Delting and Naomi Johnson for Scalloway.
Zetland 0, Whalsay 4
Zetland made a positive start, penetrating the Whalsay circle immediately from the start. However Whalsay soon regained their composure and started to press further into the Zetland half. Whalsay had an excellent zone camped in front of the Zetland defence and Dawn Anderson and Lara Jamieson found it difficult to get their 16 yard hits out of defence.
Zetland worked hard and young Zoe Irvine linked very well with Maisie Unsworth and Aimee Keith down the left. Then Zetland’s Kara Thompson suffered a knee injury when defending a long corner and was replaced by Helen Robertson at left midfield.
Victoria Duthie opened the scoring for Whalsay when she got on the end of a deflection in the circle. Ailsa Sinclair, Zetland, was very effective in her new role as centre back giving Angelina Jamieson very little time on the ball.
Zetland then suffered another set back when Helen Robertson took a tumble. Zetland changed their team around putting Dawn Anderson to her favoured position of right back and Helen to sweeper. Whalsay continued to dominate in midfield with Alison Williamson connecting up with Margaret Irvine and Catherine Williamson. Shona Keith switched over to the left as Whalsay were using the right so much. This was immediately effective with Zetland getting back into the Whalsay circle. Maree Simpson, Diane Shearer and Fiona Dally kept their keeper well protected although Jessica Bradley did have to pull off a few saves from close range.
Towards the end of the first half Angelina Jamieson scored when she came through the middle, catching the Zetland defence on the back foot with an excellent counter-attack.
Zetland were keen to get the score back level early in the second half, making use of Abbey Irvine up front on the left. Victoria Duthie continued to prove difficult to mark using her strength in the tackle and pace to outrun the tired and injured Zets.
Wilma Sim and Stacey Gardener came more into the game in the second half as Zetland switched the ball down that side. However Dianne Shearer was on excellent form and nothing got past her. Debi Kane pulled off a number of great saves and was very unlucky to lose the third goal from Victoria when the ball went through her pads.
Zetland’s defence continued to absorb the pressure and defended several short corners well. Whalsay closed the game with a fine goal from Angelina when she pounced on a deflected ball and powered it into the Zetland goal.
Whalsay’s passing was both accurate and strong and this was the difference between the two teams. Zetland had some fine individual performances but need to work harder as a team.
Both teams took advantage of the new rules, which look like they are going to make the game faster and more exciting.
Best on the night for Whalsay was Dianne Shearer for strong defending and Zoe Irvine for Zetland for her great skill on the ball and distribution.