Hockey: Goal fest for Reivers ladies

Impressive: Emily Newlands
Impressive: Emily Newlands
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Dundee University 2 Fjordhus Reivers 7

WOMEN’S NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION TWO

REIVERS LADIES 1sts took to the Dundee astro in an absolute downpour, which lasted the duration of the match, making stick control and accuracy of passing difficult.

However, the Borders girls took the game to the Varsity Ladies and started at a furious pace.

Skilful play and excellent distribution from coach Janet Jack played the deep holding role which allowed Emily Newlands some creative space in midfield to show off her impressive running game. Within the first few minutes the home keeper was being peppered by shots by the front strike pair of Lucy Inglis and Laura McLean.

Pressure and possession meant that the Reivers were playing an expansive and structured game plan and the goals were not long in coming. Lucy Inglis who ran into a super position at back post got the first after excellent play by Sarah Mathers.

Reivers showed no mercy and pressed and defended as a team and repelled any attacks with clean tackles and good communication. Ball pace from Reivers was excellent on a very tricky pitch, the combination of Morven Cawthorn and Denise Fairbairn linked well and created space for the free running Newlands. Newlands fed the Gazelle like Laura McLean who galloped away from the cover defence, rounded a defender at right D and smashed the ball into the net at a tight angle.

The all round defence of Reivers was strong and with players working back to help their teammates meant that the ball was regained time after time. Lucy Inglis and Laura McLean were particularly good at working hard off the ball to create space and track back. Inglis added her second goal on the 17 minute mark, from smart play initially by Kirsty Millar, slip pass to McLean who again found Inglis at back post.

Stacey Tennant in goal was having a quiet day, but dealt with stray balls with aplomb.

Pressure was relentless and a penalty corner was awarded to Reivers for a stray foot, after a hard and fast ball into the D by Zoe Higgins. Emily Newlands from Top D thumped the ball into the right of goal to take the score to 0-4 at half time.

The weather worsened during the second half but Reivers started where they had left off, this half using the right side of pitch, where Fairbairn, Cawthorn and Kirsty Millar were making huge inroads into the home teams red zone. From a wicked sweep pass across the D by Cawthorn, the home team were in disarray but the ever dependable and terrier that is Jackie Wilson got her stick to the ball which trickled over the line.

The Varsity ladies eventually started to gain momentum and created some space down the left, which Captain Pippa Bell had to be sharp to clear the danger. Concentration by the Reivers lapsed and the home team managed to get a goal back from a well worked penalty corner.

A rocket from Captain Bell focused the Reivers ladies to push on and put the game beyond doubt. Jack pushed up from her holding role and played a sweep pass into the D and Newlands hit it first time with another sweep to get her double to take the score to 1-6.

Dundee capitalized on the Reivers attacking play, which left some space in midfield and they scored their second past a diving Stacey Tennant.

The two minute warning for the end of game sounded and Reivers poured forward, Laura McLean again galloping away from defenders, caught a foot which awarded the Reivers a penalty corner. Stick Stop Jack dummied to Newlands and fired the ball to back post and Captain Pippa Bell, who had followed in from push out, forced the ball into goal.

A fitting end to a very professional display by Reivers who for once this season played with pace, commitment and above all they looked as if they enjoyed it.

Fjordhus Reivers: S. Tennant, P. Bell, J. Jack, E. Newlands, M. Cawthorn, C, Townsend, J. Wilson, K, Millar, D. Fairbairn, L. Inglis, Z. Higgins, S. Mathers, L. McLean.