After a great night out at the Ladies first annual fundraising Celidh, a slightly weary Merlins 2nds team met at the Seafield Club to head off to Glasgow to face Clydesdale Western 4’s for a place in the final 4 of the reginal cup. The sight of a minibus was a welcome relief for those who were still slightly under the influence!
We set off on our journey down to Glasgow with a squad of 10, thinking of any player we could to meet us down there but alas unsuccessful. After 20 minutes on the bus the first casualty of the previous night’s antics was discovered… the warm up balls had failed to make the trip down with the team! After a swift pit stop for a cheeky bacon roll the team were prepared for the match ahead. We had arrived at the pitch with plenty of time and after finally getting into the locked changing rooms and a few inspirational songs (‘Proud’ by Heather Small and ‘Reach for the Stars’ by S Club 7) as well as Lyndsey’s motivational speech the team were pumped for the game. The weather hadn’t changed since we left Aberdeen but never the less spirits were high.
The first half began at pace and it was clear that Clydesdale Western 4’s had some key former Scotland internationals who knew exactly what they were doing, where to pass the ball and brute force. After 10 minutes of holding off the attackers a goal slipped through the back of the net. The pace was fast and there was always someone free which was hard for Merlins to keep on top of. Quickly after the first goal went in the second one sneaked through.
There were several breaks by the Merlin’s team, with the ball making it into the opposition circle on a few occasions. On one such occasion midfielder Siobhan Cowie had the ball at the top of the circle but was unfortunately wiped out by one of the Clydesdale Western players. Unfortunately nothing was given for this and play resumed. The next three goals passed in a bit of a blur. The defense tried to stick to their players but the experienced opposition managed to skillfully beat our defense.
Half time score – 5-0.
The team started the second half strong after some wise half time words and a bag of much deserved Haribo tangfastics. Buzzing from our sugar rush we headed back onto the pitch, the game would restart 0-0 in the Merlin’s 2’s eyes. The team fought really hard and defended well from the start. There were several hit outs which allowed us to push the ball up the left hand side. One player needed the pitch to be slightly bigger but managed to get the ball back further down the sideline. There was an impressive aerial from left midfielder, Michelle Noble which was met by cheers and claps from the opposition’s spectators.
Another great play and passing from the team resulted in Merlins 2’s receiving a penalty corner. It felt like we had scored a goal when this was awarded. Unfortunately the shot was just wide and the ball was turned over. Two unlucky own goals and another two from Clydesdale Western 4’s finished the game. Hearing the end whistle was a relief and the exhausted team .were looking forward to drying out and getting warm again. Final score 9-0 to Clydesdale Western 4’s.
A tasty match tea of Leek and potato soup, tiger bread and some great home bakes were waiting for us in the clubhouse. The team headed back on the bus, and began the long journey back home.
Overall great team effort and great commitment to all those that went down on the bus either hungover, tired or injured.
Player of the match – The whole team for making the journey down
Dafty of the day - Caroline Fettes for forgetting the balls!