Searing heat takes its toll but Borders ladies stay cool
Fjordhus Reivers 3s 2, Livingston and West Lothian 1
With the Tweedbank astro thermometer sitting at 22 degrees, Fjordhus Reivers 3s put on a sizzling display of hockey on Saturday to outplay their East League opposition from Livingston and West Lothian.
The game began with the Borderers playing fast, open hockey, holding their shape and communicating well.
They were unlucky not to score after numerous strikes, and three short corners in quick succession.
The visitors had much to thank their very able goalkeeper for – she was kept particularly busy for the first 15 minutes, much to the frustration of the Reivers players and supporters.
As the girls began to wilt in the intense sunshine, Livingston capitalised and created a chance to score. Helen Montgomery was alert, however, and, in a ‘one on one’, she slid to the left of the goalmouth, saving the most almighty hit from L&WL’s striker.
Buoyed up by this, L&WL went on the attack once again but were this time halted by a super Emma Jamieson deflection.
Lyndsey Miller intercepted the long corner and Reivers kept possession. Great midfield play, where the south of Scotland youngsters out-skilled the opposition, resulted in the ball being fed to Blythe Duff and Sophie Younger.
With the clock ticking down and all 22 players desperate for half-time, Reivers were awarded a short corner just as the clock showed 35 minutes.
Sophie collected and fed the ball to Lucy Bell, who slotted it in to the top right hand corner. This was just the boost the girls needed.
Both teams were delighted to hear there would be a two-minute break at 17.5 minutes to allow for rehydration during the second half.
This began much in the style of the first, with Reivers having much of the possession but then L&WL would catch them unaware.
Two strong strikes were ably saved by Helen before the visitors scored from a well-worked short corner.
It was now very much ‘game on’, with sore legs and hot bodies suddenly stepping up a gear.
A good run down the left from Kady Hulme saw her pass to captain Sophie, who slotted home the Reivers’ second goal.
With just eight minutes left to play, Reivers controlled the game, slowed it down and worked tactically.
‘Well done’ messages were conveyed to all the Reivers players, particularly those who ‘stepped up’ from the 5s. They were praised for listening to those more experienced and it was pleasing to hear the older girls encouraging them.
Thanks were also expressed to Olivia H, who kept the water bottles filled up, to Clare T and Jacks W for their splendid umpiring, and to the supporters who, for once, were melting in the Tweedbank sunshine.