The outdoor hockey season began with victories for Delting and Whalsay in the Association Rosebowl league.
Delting 1, Scalloway 0
The first match of the season got off to a great start with early attacks on both goals. Following some slick linking play between Nicola Blance and Kerry Burgess on the right side Scalloway defender Ann-Marie Robinson cleared the ball deliberately off the back line and Delting were awarded their first penalty corner.
A strong push out from Brenda Leask to the edge of the circle was deemed to have hit Jillian Copland’s knee and a free pass was awarded to a relieved Scalloway. The tables turned when Karis Irvine took a spectacular first time shot from a cross which narrowly missed the target.
Scalloway were then awarded a penalty corner and Rhiannon Inkster wowed the crowd with a strike which Toni Sidgwick guided onto the cross bar. The ball then fell to Delting’s Jessalin Fraser who cleared it out of danger. Both teams continued to push for the opening goal but there was no break in the deadlock up until half time.
The second half started with great pressure from Delting as they continued to work hard to make their penalty corners and shots on goal count. However, the Scalloway defensive pack were holding their own.
It was a full 10 minutes before Scalloway settled again and with some good work from Naomi Johnson, Kate Moncrieff and Mhairi Moncrieff they pushed forward into the Delting circle and were awarded a penalty corner. Delting’s new signing Louise Arthur demonstrated good form and cleared the danger.
Kerri Redfern, making a welcome return for Scalloway, helped them to keep their shape throughout the game and made good use of the substitutions. However, it was a change of tack for Delting at a penalty corner which resulted in the only goal.
The initial push out was cleanly stopped and pushed in by Jillian Copland. Donna Murray was poised ready to strike and made no mistake in sending the ball goalward.
Scalloway continued to battle hard until the end and were unlucky in the closing minutes when Karis Irvine intercepted a weak cross in Delting’s defence. She laid the ball off to Meg Laurenson who drove with the ball into the circle and hit her strike well but it went wide of the goal. Both teams played well and with a few new signings showed good promise for the rest of the season.
Players of the match were Nicola Blance for Delting and Naomi Johnson for Scalloway.
Zetland 0, Whalsay 6
Whalsay dominated throughout, passing well and making excellent use of their midfield strength. Victoria Duthie and Maree Simpson were particularily strong down Whalsay’s right wing. Lara Jamieson, Helen Robertson and Hannah Irvine tackled determinedly but Whalsay’s pace and strength showed.
Zetland fielded four new players – Joanne Stewart, Eildh Coull, Megan Grant and Lynsey Morrison. Finding it difficult to settle, Zetland conceded four goals in the first half from Dianne Shearer, Duthie and Angelina Irvine (2). Zetland looked like they could get a goal on the break with Maisie Unsworth and Indiya Bradley both looking fit.
Zetland started the second half much more positively. Erica Mikolajczak found her form and started to thread balls through to her forwards Abbey Irvine and Ingrid Nicol. Zetland did threaten to breach the Whalsay circle but couldn’t get any clear shots away.
At the other end it was a different story. Debi Kane had a superb half clearing her lines and blocking shots on countless occasions.
Dawn Anderson kept Catherine Williamson and Eileen Sandison quiet on the right. Zoe Irvine for Whalsay showed her class on the ball throughout the second half weaving her way through the Zetland midfield. The defensive circle was too congested for her passes to always find her strickers.
Due to forced errors Zetland defended five short corners but Duthie scored at the back post when she lifted her shot past Robertson on the post. A penalty flick was conceded late in the game when Robertson stopped a shot with her knee on the line. Fiona Dally converted the penalty.
Whalsay were particularly strong throughout while Zetland look like they could be dangerous on the break with some pacey players up front.
Best on the night for Whalsay was Zoe Irvine while for Zetland Erica Mikolajcak stood out.