A formidably strong Orkney hockey side will arrive in Brae on Saturday afternoon for what Shetland hope will be their first win in the fixture since 2003.
Orkney’s incredible winning run in the fixture could extend to 16 years in a row if they prevail on the Brae astroturf this weekend.
Joint coach Derek Leask called the team “one of the best that’s ever been”, while his wife and joint coach Brenda told The Orcadian that this Orkney team was “arguably one of the best inter-county hockey teams of all time”.
Derek said that the focus had been on fitness in preparation for this year’s fixture, adding there had been an “opportunity for lasses to be stronger and fitter”.
Orkney also defeated Shetland 3-0 in the District Cup semi-finals earlier this year, on their way to retaining the trophy that they have now also won for three years in a row.
Derek said of that match that Shetland had “pretty much matched them” for long sections and was hopeful that could stand them in good stead this weekend.
Shetland had gone at Orkney “aggressively” in that match, he said, and that is a tactic Shetland are likely to employ again.
“I think the best way to get at them is to be offensive”.
Shetland will not go into the game hoping to cling onto a draw, he said.
On their last visit to Brae in 2017, Orkney were made to fight to clinch the Lady Hamilton Cup, coming from behind to win 2-1 in the end.
Shetland will hope to go one better in this year’s tie, and finally lift the trophy after such an agonising wait.
Passback is at 12pm on Saturday 27th July at the Brae astroturf pitch.
The squad for this year’s fixture is: Megan Nicolson (Spurs), Cara Leask (Delting), Holly King (Spurs), Emma Michael (Spurs), Lynsey Morrison (Spurs), Vicky Wiseman (Burra), Rhiannon Inkster (Spurs), Sarah Williamson (Burra), Kristan Robertson (Burra), Victoria Duthie (Whalsay), Rhea Nicolson (Burra), Abbey Irvine (Whalsay), Francesca MacColl (Delting), Kayleigh Irvine (Zetland), Maggie Kay Irvine (Whalsay), Janetta Williamson (Delting), Laura Nicolson (Burra) and Karis Irvine (Whalsay).