Confidence is an issue

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Reivers 3

Edinburgh University VI 2

EAST MEN’S SECOND DIVISION

THE Reivers did not make it easy for themselves at the weekend.

With their position at the top of the division well cemented, the second half of the season should hold few, if any, surprises against teams they have already played.

However, it was more than the windy chill that blew through the team on Saturday. The visitors came to Tweedbank with a have-a-go attitude which served them well and pushed the Reivers right to the final whistle.

Reivers started strongly with good, tight hockey for the first 20 minutes. They were quickly rewarded with an excellent goal by Spencer Pitman and it looked as if it was going to be a very one-sided match when a second goal was scored by Tim Watkin, taking the Reivers to a commanding position.

However, as the first half went on, errors slipped into the Reivers formation. Edinburgh persevered as the hosts appeared to take their feet off the pedal and the visitors were able to circumvent the defence and score a goal as the first half came to a close.

Reivers captain, Peter Cairns, in robust form, was unimpressed during his half-time talk.

With tactical consideration he concluded: “We need to do better; we need to get our formation back and play in their half.”

These wise words appeared to have some impact on the Borderers as the second half began. Pitman, in mercurial form, scored his second of the day, giving Reivers clear water. University were not to be shaken off so easily, though, and fought back hard to get a second goal in the last 15 minutes.

Reivers lost their confidence, which has been a recent weakness, and as the second half came to a close, possession was with the visitors and the threat of an equaliser was prevalent for the final minutes.

There was audible relief when the final whistle was blown and the Reivers obtained three points.

There were, however, some strong individual performances.

Man of the match Gavin Bantages played his first game as keeper and made excellent saves under pressure towards the end of the game.

Reivers’ thanks go to the match ball sponsors Pearsons of Duns.

Reivers squad: P. Cairns, G. Bantages, P. Conkie, R. Jackson, Colin Stockdale, S. Ramsay, S. Pitman, G. Lofthouse, T. Watkin, S. Girvan, Calum Stockdale, A. Bell, D. Johnson, C. Tucker, A. Rajput and P. Forster.