The Shetland hockey team won their first round-match in the Scottish District Cup on Sunday by defeating Aberdeen Ladies Seconds in an impressive display at the Aberdeen Sports Village.
Aberdeen Ladies 2nds 0, Shetland 3
With a few new faces in the Shetland squad there was a great excitement for the task ahead. The game started with an Aberdeen pass back but it was not long before Shetland had won the ball back and were looking dangerous with quick breaks down the flanks.
In the seventh minute Aberdeen threaded a pass through to one of their forwards but Shetland keeper and captain Toni Sidgwick was alert to be out and down quick to block the danger. Her defence of Janetta Williamson, Ava Sim and Dianne Shearer were on hand to clear the ball out of the danger area.
Minutes later good work on the right won Shetland a long corner which was taken quickly by Kristan Robertson. She ran at the Aberdeen defence, beating the first two players and then slipping the ball back to Stacey Laurenson. She found space in the ‘D’ and hearing the shout from Julie Kirkness played the perfect ball allowing Kirkness to coolly slip it under the onrushing keeper to make it 1-0.
With the goal Shetland were able to settle a little and started to play some really good possession hockey. But when the ball was getting turned over and in Aberdeen’s possession, they had to work hard to defend the attacks and clear the danger after a couple of Aberdeen short corners. With good work from Nicola Blance and Abbey Irvine working hard to clear the danger, the first half ended 1-0.
The second half started with Shetland getting back on top and nearly scoring three minutes in. Maggie Irvine on the righthand side ghosted past a couple of players, finding Julie Kirkness in space, but this time the shot went inches pass the post.
The Shetland team were really stretching the vocal Aberdeen players at this stage with good play from wingers Lorriane Johnson, Megan Hibbert and Karis Irvine. But they always had to be at their best at the back and Sidgwick had to pull out another great triple save to keep Aberdeen from scoring.
Shetland won a couple of short corners about 20 minutes in the half and were very unlucky not to finish any of them off, but with Aberdeen only able to clear the ball for long corners, Shetland and Maggie Irvine were really making them count. More skillful play saw Shetland drive into the ‘D’ and get a quick shot away and this time it came off an unfortunate Aberdeen defender to make the score 2-0.
Aberdeen tried to hit back straight from the pass-back and won themselves a couple of short corners, finally cleared to safety from Janetta Williamson.
With 31 minutes gone Shetland again attacked on the right, with Maggie Irvine ripping the Aberdeen defence up and driving into the ‘D’. She found Mhari Moncrieff who was able to get a snap shot away, which was well saved by the goalie. But the ball fell to Karis Irvine at the back post who was able to force it over the line with a quick finish to make it 3-0.
Shetland kept it tight for the remainder of the game and were able to celebrate at the full-time whistle, going through to the next round. It was a good game with some excellent work from the Shetland players, but also showed that a lot of work still needs to be done in certain areas of their game. Maggie Irvine just pipped the experienced Julie Kirkness as player of the match for Shetland.
Coaches Peter Sharp and Jill Hibbert were delighted with the result and have challenged the team to stick together as a squad over the winter months, work hard and progress through the next round in March, where in previous years they have just missed out.