Strong Work-Rate Paid off for Merlins 1st XI
By Siobhan Cowie
Merlins 1st XI v Haddington Away. Match Report by Zoe Sinclair
Yet another double-header was upon the first team on Saturday with a 3.30 game at Haddington being the first of the games. Haddington are an unpredictable team for us, especially at their home pitch so we all knew it was going to be a tough game. Eventually all arriving at the pitch we had our motivational team talk in the changing room clarifying exactly what we were there to do…WIN! We were under the instruction to pass the ball, stay positive and not to turn over the ball. We all left for the pitch feeling quietly confident.
One of the Haddington players kindly lent one of our teammates a pair of shin guards which they had accidently left at home, which as you will all agree, is an easy mistake to make! Moving on...The pitch was fast paced and during the warm up the ball was moving around nicely. There was a sense of determination during the warm up; everyone knew that we had to come away with the 3 points.
Merlins had a promising start to the game with a couple of shots on goal in the first 10 minutes. The ball which could only be described as an orange brick proved very difficult to play with. Haddington came into the game and were passing the ball around us more causing Merlins to step it up a level. A penalty corner from Haddington resulted in Lauren Tanner saving the day with a baseball swing off the line, brushing past Kerry’s face and off the side-line...and breathe. Our keeper Cowie made some fantastic saves in the middle of the half which kept us in the game and after a good spell of defending Merlins finally broke, passing the ball up the pitch to Amanda Walker who dribbled past players to top D and reverse swept it into the bottom corner finally putting us 1 goal ahead. After a good few penalty corners in the first half for Haddington the score was still 1-0.
Half-time Score 1-0
A motivational half time talk left us all determined to keep our lead. We were to reduce the amount of turnovers and defend for our lives. The work rate from our whole team in the second half was phenomenal and prevented Haddington from causing us any great problems apart from their left midfielder (AKA female Usain Bolt) but we managed to rectify this as the half went on. Haddington had yet another 6 or so penalty corners all of which were denied by the defending corner team. Merlins hard work paid off and the final whistle eventually came and we managed to secure the win.
Full-time Score 1-0
A rainy but satisfying drive up the road followed with another 3 points on the board :)
MOM – Amanda Walker
DOD – Zoe Sinclair