Fjordhus Reivers 1
NATIONAL LADIES’ DIVISION ONE
TWELVE ladies from the Borders and two hardy supporters made the long journey north to Highland capital Inverness on Saturday.
With only one substitute in their ranks, it was imperative that all players remained composed and concentrated on the game. Making her senior appearance for Reivers was 14-year-old Leia McKinnon from Earlston, while Leisa Poole was also making her seasonal bow, due to a gap in work commitments.
Both teams cancelled each other out in the opening exchanges, but 10 minutes in Reivers settled and began playing with great communication and shape.
Deadly duo Janet Jack and Pippa Bell were enjoying large chunks of possession and frequently gave defence-splitting passes to the strikers. Highland, playing their usual combative and aggressive style, were warned by the official to watch their tackles, and from a quick self pass, Jack released McKinnon. She beat two defenders to drive into the D, where she caught a stray foot to win a penalty corner, which was saved well by the home keeper.
Highland soaked up the pressure well, thanks to the fore-mentioned stopper and Jackie Wilson did well in defence to make some timely tackles to keep the half-time score at 0-0.
From the pass-back, Reivers won another penalty corner, this time only a stick stop on the line prevented them taking the lead.
Highland could not get out of their half, such was the pressure from Reivers, and tensions started to boil in the home team. The captain received a green card for stick tackles and soon after the central defender was sent off for the two minute sin-bin.
Despite being a player down, the home team took the lead as the Borderers were caught napping, leaving a one-on-one which Tennant, in goal, could not save.
Reivers upped the pace and pushed forward pulling markers all over the pitch in the process. This gave space for Jack to drive into the D, fire a ball across goal to Fairbairn, who deflected to McKinnon, and, from a goalmouth scramble, Laura McLean dribbled the ball over the line to equalise.
Highland then lost the plot completely with their captain receiving a yellow card and a five-minute suspension for persistent bad tackles. Reivers pushed hard for the winner, but the final whistle came all too soon.
Fjordhus Reivers: S. Tennant, C. Townsend, E. Newlands, Z. Higgins, J. Wilson, P. Bell, J. Jack, L. McKinnon, S. Mather, D. Fairbairn, L. Poole, L. McLean.