The girls travelled to Fettes today full of high hopes and in good spirits for the annual tournament. The tournament attracts all the top hockey schools including the big day schools, so it was ideal preparation for next week.
Our first match was against St George’s and after a bit of a scrappy start we soon settled and began to play better hockey. Izzy scored first in open play, followed quickly by a number 1 short corner strike. We began to stretch the play which is much more to our style and a good ball through from midfield saw Saphira pick it up and slot it in the goal. Clemmie made some strong tackles and we relied on her to get the ball away wide away from danger.
Cargilfield 3 St George’s 0
Our next pool game was against Edinburgh Academy and we couldn’t have asked for a better start with Sophie starting the scoring with less than 1 minute on the clock. Sophie had a strong game, making many really powerful passes up the pitch and she was rewarded for her hard work by a top corner goal which really impressed the crowd as well as most of the players on the pitch! Edinburgh Academy fought their way back in to the game and scored but this just spurred the girls on and Sophie switched play and scored neatly in the back of the net. Rosanna played well in this game and pushed the play wide, channeling her opposite number away from the middle of the pitch.
Cargilfield 3 Edinburgh Academy 1
We faced Craigclowan next and this was a great passing game in general. Time after time we simply played the ball to our midfield who then played it hard in to the circle, aiming for post, for our strikers to simply pop it in. Four of our goals came from this style of play and Laura, Saphira, Flora and Sophie all scored goals by being in the right place at the right time, watching the ball well and positioning themselves well. Emma stood out in this game, especially in the second half when the pressure was on, and it was great to have her calm presence on the pitch, keeping the EA girls out of the circle.
Cargilfield 5 Craigclowan 0
We then faced Loretto in the quarter finals; as always, the Loretto girls were strong and demonstrated a good level of hockey. The match was end to end with both teams trying hard to get the ball pushed up the pitch. Clemmie and Emma worked hard in this match and kept the ball out of goal on many an occasion. Laura played a great ball through to Sophie who reached on her reverse and casually slotted it in the goal. The Loretto girls sprang back in to action and Caitlin was on top form, keeping a clean sheet in this game and keeping the Loretto girls out.
Cargilfield 1 Loretto 0
The semi final was against a strong looking Dollar and we knew from the first second that we were going to be in for a tough match. Play quickly swung down our defending end and the Dollar girls pounced and scored their goal. We tried hard to stay on track but we did look a bit panicked however eventually we settled and we pushed back up in to their circle, winning a penalty corner. Izzy injected well and Sophie struck the ball sweetly, scoring on the far post. Rosanna kept the width well and worked hard, both in attack and defence. The Dollar girls came back fighting, but good work from Izzy in particular kept the game at bay and we entered half time at 1-1.
The game was just as exciting in the second half and it swung backwards and forward. Caitlin made 2 excellent saves early on, denying 2 certain goals, and both teams just could not score that all-important winning goal. Flora had a strong second half and time after time she tackled the Dollar girls and turned the play round. Laura positioned herself well near the post and tried hard to hassle the goal keeper. The match finished 1-1 and the dreaded running penalties beckoned.
Dollar stepped up first and scored, despite and excellent effort from Caitlin. Sophie was our first player to take one, and she coolly ran at the keeper, dragged the ball right and pulled it back, scoring in the back of the goal. Caitlin was faced by a cool second Dollar girl, who took a shot but feisty Caitlin made a great save but unfortunately the striker had time for a rebound and scored. Izzy stepped up next and scored the tightest of goals on the reverse; a real crowd pleaser but not good for my heart! Heroine Caitlin then upped her game and saved the third running penalty with great style. Emma stepped up next but her penalty was saved. With both teams still unable to be split, we went to sudden death running penalties.
It is a thankless task for anyone, but Sophie took the responsibility and stepped forward for her penalty. Despite a great run, her strike just missed and the Dollar girl managed to score hers, which saw the match sway Dollar’s way.
The girls were upset however they have learned a great deal today; we were the last Prep School left in a tournament dominated by the big day schools, and they should all be very proud of themselves for their hard work and tremendous effort.
Well done to Heriot’s, and especially former pupil Catherine who was playing for Heriot’s, for winning the tournament also on running penalties after a draw with Dollar.