Hockey hat-trick for Selkirk player Jess Main in Scots youth debut with Gala's Molly Darling

It’s certainly been a week to savour for hockey in the Borders.

By Ralph Mellon
Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 6:19 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 6:26 pm
Molly Darling and Jess Main
Molly Darling and Jess Main

Selkirk’s Sarah Robertson and her Team GB colleagues left the Tokyo Olympics with a bronze medal – and two local young players gained their first caps for Scotland, following in the footsteps of their inspirational role model.

Jess Main (Selkirk) and Molly Darling (Galashiels), both Fjordhus Reivers club members, have been in the Scottish girls’ youth programme for the last couple of years but, unfortunately, unable to represent their country during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both girls worked hard to gain selection to the Scottish girls’ squad which played out two international matches against their Welsh counterparts at the National Hockey Centre in Glasgow last weekend.

Friday night saw a tentative start by the girls as they played their first game together, with 16 of the 18 players gaining their first Scottish caps.

After half time, and reassurance from their coaches that they could let the handbrake off and be ‘creative’, there was a flurry of goals from both teams.

Main scored twice, to take Scotland into the lead each time, but Wales came back and levelled the score at 2-2. The final quarter saw Scotland go in to the lead again

through a Main bullet but Wales replied again – and it wasn’t until the last minute that Scotland buried the ball in the Welsh net to seal the victory at 4-3.

The girls returned to the training pitch on Saturday and came out all guns blazing on Sunday morning to go into a solid 3-0 lead.

Wales clawed back a goal through a penalty but Scotland immediately responded to make it 3-1. The final quarter saw both squads exchange goals to give the Scots a well-deserved 4-2 win.

Main and Darling will go back to training with the squad and both hope to make selection for the Futures Cup which will be held in St Albans from August 24-27.

This competition is to showcase the ‘best of the best’ in the home countries and is a great opportunity for these young players to develop and progress their hockey further.

Janet Jack, head coach of Fjordhus Reivers and coach for Scottish girls’ squad, said: “The weekend was a fantastic opportunity to play national age group hockey and it has been a real privilege to coach alongside Edinburgh’s Jude McMullin, working with this group of girls, who are so engaged and hard working. Jess and Molly were both very valuable players in the Scottish girls’ squad success.”