Future Looks Bright

Saturday saw the girls 2s continue their campaign against Grammar in the Indoor District lLeague. The game finished 5-3 to Grammar (the less said about the quality the better). There were debuts for Katy Thomson and Ava Airnes to add to other youngsters Jess and Eleanor Barr, Heather Hunter and Kassidy Mathers.

Sunday was the day for the U12s at the Gordon Centre and a very sound GCW side proved invicible with 4 wins. Winning is not the issue at thsi level but the attention to detail and high stck skills shown, the youngsters can be very proud of themselves. Led by coaches Esther Walterson and Fay Bruce they improved as the day went on. We are not sure if thsi was good coach input or the marshmallows supplied between games. 



Hatfield Settles It

A New Year brought an energised GCW Ladies 1s to their first National Indoor Weekend of the decade. Two debutants (Eleanor Barr and Connie Hatfield) in the squad also enforced the “new” attitude to the squad. 11 Players travelled and all were used on a consistent rolling basis irrespective of form.

The first game up was Edinburgh who the girls drew 4-4 with on day one. This turned out to be another tight game. In the early stages it was nip and tuck and it was a question of who would  force a lead. As it turned out in 5 minutes it was Edinburgh through a lucky deflection or two. GCW tried to force it back but a counter by Edinburgh met with another deflection wrong footing the defence and it was 2-0 Edinburgh. There was a nervousness about the GCW side and a bit of familiarisation with the constant rotation. However this began to clear and suddenly the game swung. A long ball from the back found Eildih Seedhouse who spun the keeper and netted. This was soon followed by a replica but this time from Jess Barr. 2-2 and it looked set for an even first half but a piece of indecisive defending allowed Edinburgh to take the lead just before half time.

The second half was a ding dong affair 2-3 soon was 3-3, then 3-4, then 4-4 until finally Edinburgh netted the final goal to win out 5-4. A tight and enjoyable game to blow the New Year cobwebs away.

Game 2 was against Inverleith, the first game finished 3-3, and the girls were determined to get a positive result to go home with. A game dominated by GCW was 0-0 at half time. The game was still 0-0 at the end of the third quarter. The nerves were beginning to jangle a bit at this point as Inverleith won their first corners of the game. Then Jess Barr spun the keeper and was brought down for a penalty flick, a solid flick was well saved by the keeper. Was this to be a 0-0 result ?.

With three minutes left the ball was switched to Jen Tait on the left she looked up and saw Connie Hatfield heading to the back post. A disguised sweep across the defence looked just out of Connie’s reach but she reached forward to get a stick on it and score the decisive goal and the crowd and GCW bench were up in delight. The final two minutes saw a newly invigorated GCW side push for more and a corner switch to Heather Curry was netted with a minute to play to make everything seem easier than it actually was. Possible improvements might be shooting off the ground as several shots were defended well on the line by the Inverleith defence. Fourth in the table is a good way to start the decade.


Ladies Move Up

Whilst most of you were Xmas shopping the Ladies Indoor section had a total of 7 games to get players for.  A bit of a challenge but one that the girls stepped up to.

On Sunday the GCW 1s travelled to Perth in Women’s National League 2 to take on Western and Bon Accord before they could think of mince pies. The first game was against Clydesdale Western. This was a game the girls had high hopes for and started well scoring in the 8th minute from Jess Barr. Despite always pressing the girls never got a crucial second and did not look themselves in the tackle. Thanks to the efforts of Jen Smith in goal the game entered the final 5 minutes still 1-0 to GCW. However a counter found a simple ball across the circle and a Clydesdale player on hand to finish it off to level the game up. A few nervy moments but the game finished in a 1-1 draw.

The second game of the day was a derby match against Bon Accord. The GCW girls always looked the better side and pressed throughout. They led 1-0 and 2-1but a dogged Bon accord side had the game level at 2-2 going into the final 5 minutes of the match. GCW had missed quite a few good chances and the umpires were less than kind when Heather Curry scored for it to be ruled out a s a hit. However a strong press and Heather one the ball on the left and managed this time to place the ball beyond the keeper with one hand to win the game 3-2. The result of the first half of the season is the girls are in fourth ready for the big January push.

North District Indoor got underway on Saturday at the Gordon Centre. The ladies 2s( minus a keeper) took on Aberdeen Ladies first and were coasting at 5-1 but a late comeback saw the girls eventually win out 6-4. Heather Hunter and Eleanor Barr made their debuts in this game and looked vey settled. Game two was a bit of a scrappy affair against Ellon but the 2s indoor strength eventually told out as they went on to win 6-3. All of the goals shared between the Barr sisters.

Sunday and the completely new 3s were out for three games headed by coach Fay Bruce. All at sea at the beginning but the youngsters grew through the day with 1-5, 2-3 and 6-2 their scores.



GCW Girls Moving on Up

This last weekend had the GCW Ladies 1s finally get their outstanding match against league leaders Uddingston underway. This was the final match of the first half of the outdoor season and the weather was it’s wet best. Given the unusual timing GCW had a reasonably strong squad but the league leaders had not dropped a point all season so the task was tough.

The game started evenly with the wet pitch preventing fast movement and running with the ball. In fact it was easier to sustain pitch position in the attacking areas than it was to get the ball out of the defensive area. As the half progressed GCW had a couple of corners without any positive result but Uddingston got stronger as the half progressed and probably edged the half on play. It has to be said though that GCW defended doggedly at this point and getting into half time level was a very encouraging sign.

The second half saw Uddingston start strong but GCW began to take more control of the game and play much more of it in the attacking third. 10 minutes into the second half and GCW got the breakthrough their pressure deserved when Nicole Duffin moved left on the 23 yard area to fire a slightly lifted ball into the circle. The essential poacher Jess Barr led back and got the faintest of touches to deflect home.

The GCW girls were not satisfied with defending a lead however and continued to press. When they did lose the ball the ever reliable Shiona Littlejohn had her defence well marshalled and “new “ left defender Fay Bruce had her best ever game in a GCW shirt. Half way through the half and a corner was slipped left and fired at goal and this time the touch was from Lisa Clyne for GCW to find themselves 2-0 up.

Despite conceding a goal with ten minutes left there were few troublesome moments and some sound game play in the opposition half to produce very few nervous minutes.

A good all round team performance with GCW edging it “literally”.

On the same day the 2s managed to edge past a Grammar side winning 3-1. The result of the day is that both sides are third in their respective divisions.

Sunday saw indoor start and GCW travelled to Dundee to take on Inverleith 2s and the newly relegated CALA side. The Inverleith game saw a scrappy first half with GCW leading 3-0. Despite the lead and playing better in the second period some indifferent defensive work and inconclusive finishing meant Inverleith pulled the game back to make it a 3-3 draw. Game two would be the harder of the two games but it turned into a cracking indoor game of hockey with the lead constantly changing. It was Inverleith who went into the fourth period 4-3 up but GCW came back and drew the game 4-4 and were pressing for the winner at the end. The Edinburgh side found it very difficult to contain the GCW side throughout especially with Heather Curry being in outstanding indoor form.


Perfect Weekend .......Nearly

The weather tried it’s best to put the damper on last weekend but it failed to succeed. A busy weekend with four girls teams out, U14s at Countesswells, two players trialling for the women’s masters squad and three plaeyrs away in the Academy series. Oh and I nearly forgot the Xmas lights parade organised and led by Kevin Goodbrand, “Spotless” as we know him.

First up was the Saturday match between the 3s and Aberdeen University 3s. The 3s started off at pace and were fully in control early on. Ellen Clow, Ava Airnes and Molly Gammie were intent on getting an opener but 25 minutes in and no goals but plenty of corners. Then the unexpected a long ball found it’s way past the GCW defence who then were a little indecisive and suddenly somehow Uni were ahead. Captain Martha Sheal was clearly unhappy about this as two minutes later she strode forward and fired the ball from the top of the circle to hear the lovely thud of the ball hitting the back board.

This set the tone for the rest of the game with all GCW attacks and stout defending by Uni but GCW were not to be denied and two further goals made the game safe and secure at 3-1.The 2s were up next against Aberdeen Uni 2s. A bit of a struggle to get everyone available but the 2s set about putting the game to bed and this they did as they led 2-0 at half time. Never in doubt they played some fine passing hockey despite the patchwork nature of the team.The girls went on to win 5-1.

Sunday mornign at noon the girls 4s took on (yes you guessed it ) Aberdeen Unis 4s. Ella Moyes made her debut for the 4s and did not look out of place as they stormed to a 3-1 victory.

The disappointing part of the weekend was the first team losing 5-1 at home to Borders where a goal from Connie Hatfield was the only bright spot on a dull afternoon.

As a final note the Dundee Devils featuring Jen Tait, Jess Barr and Holly Miller won their game on Sunday after a shoutout followin ga 2-2 draw. The first Devils goal was all GCW with Jess Barr cearting the opportunity and Jen Tait finishing soilidly.


Devilishly "Wanderful"

This Sunday sees the Girls in Black take on Borders in a National League 2 game at Aberdeen Sports Village. This will prove a somewhat unusual game as both sides will be understrength.

The game was rearranged some weeks ago before Scottish Hockey announced their Academy series of games. This is a sequence of regionalised games for potential international athletes aged under 18. GCW are fortunate to have 3 players in the Dundee devils squad ( Jess Barr, Holly Miller and Jen Tait. Borders also have a few youngsters in the squads. In addition to this the Scotland over 40s have trials on Sunday and GCW’s Fay Bruce and Shiona Littlejohn will be wielding their sticks  there.

Despite this the game carries it’s own importance where if GCW could get a home win they will jump into 3rd spot with games in hand. Nicole Duffin will be relying on her core squad plus some of the latest crop of youngsters to step up and take the points.

On Saturday the girls 2s and 3s will be taking on Aberdeen Uni 2s and 3s at Hillhead at 1.30 and 3pm. Sunday sees the 4s continue their strong challenge in District League 2 with a game at Bucksburn at noon against Aberdeen Uni 4s.

We wish you all well and look forward to a successful weekend however it all turns out.


3s Win in the Sun

There was no ladies league game for the firsts this weekend as the game was rescheduled to accommodate Borders visit to Aberdeen. So it was the cup that would be their focus on Sunday when a trip to Glasgow was on the cards to play GHK. Sunday morning was bright and chilly in Aberdeen and a good spirit was evident. However just before setting off a call from GHK saved a long  trip as the game was postponed due to frozen pitch.

The ladies 3s therefore took top billing this weekend when they played Merlins 2s at ASV on Saturday. With no adults on the pitch for the 3s it was very encouraging to watch both their style of play and their control of the game.it took two excellent corner strikes from Zoe Bradford to put the 3s 2-0 up at half time and to keep a smile on coach Esther’s face. They dominated the second half and passed up a few chances but ran out comfortable 2-0 winners.

On Sunday the Ladies 5s got a chance to play in an entertaining game which produced no fewer than 9 goals. The 5s lost out 6-3 with the GCW goals coming from Esther Walterson (two) and a reverse stick flick from Elena Eguiagaray


Fours Top Table

The Ladies first were one of three teams in action this weekend. Sadly the Ladies 1s travelled to Edinburgh to take on ESM who finished second in the table last season. Always a tough game away from home but the sun was out and the players were looking tanned. This may however had more to do with a dance on that evening.

The idea was to start strong and give no space but within two minutes the plan was in the bin. An ESM side-line ball in the GCW 23yard area was passed and not pressured and the resultant ball into the circle found a forward who took advantage of confusion to net an early opener. Ten minutes later and a second came when a ball fired into the circle was deflected ( or miscontrolled ) into the pass of an ESM  forward and it was 2-0. GCW went up the other end and had two good chances but a mixture of imprecise finishing and good goalkeeping kept the score at 2-0. Just before half time however ESM took full advantage of a breakaway to net a third.

GCW improved in the second half but there followed two more goals to make the score 5-0. Probably not a 5-0 game but the home side were certainly well worthy of their win.

On the Sunday the Ladies 4s took on the Ladies 5s in a game if won would put the 4s top of District Division 2. The 5s played some nice stuff early on and looked threatening but the experience of the 4s told in 10 minutes when they netted to go 1-0 up. The second goal was soon to follow when a long run from Katy Thomson was not stopped by the 5s and she was allowed to step in to the circle and net the second. A third followed before half time.

The strength in the young 5s is their ability to step up their game in the second half and this they did once again. A far more even second period looked like heading to a stalemate but with 5 minutes to play the 4s netted their fourth of the afternoon.

Well done to all in producing an entertaining game and to all of the parents who turned up to cheer them on.


Girls Draw at "Home"

The Ladies in Black were home this week, but not as we know it. The normal venue of Aberdeen Sports Village was flooded in the morning so Auntie Lorna hastily rearrange the fixture for Rubislaw. The opposition were CALA from Edinburgh and as it turned out the weather was better than anticipated. The girls were 5 senior players down and the original 13 was further reduced due to illness. We were fortunate the ever resolute Martha Sheal stepped up to keep the squad at 13.

The game started very well for the Girls in Black with early shots from Jess Barr and Nicole Duffin nearly putting the girls ahead. In fact in the first 10 minutes the GCW girls had four shots on target. Keeping with the weather theme however and this proved to be the one swallow in summer. In ten minutes a pass across the pitch was intercepted by the CALA girls who strode forward and eventually one a short corner. The initial short corner was deflected high by the solid defence but the rebounded ball was met well by the CALA forward and fired home.

This changed the match as GCW lost control in the midfield and a succession of imprecise passes meant any momentum was lost. Some scrambles across the GCW goal before half time were somehow kept out to go in at half time at 0-1 down.

Half time was all about being better at what we can do. Doing the basics we trained for and not allowing the opposition to dictate. There was a discernible improvement in the second half but still a couple of scares during the half were dealt with by keeper Brogan Wilson. As the half went on however GCW started to get more of an upper hand and a change in press endorsed this. The last ten minutes were spent camped in the CALA half pressing for an equaliser. With 4 minutes remaining a short corner was won after some sterling work from skipper Nicole Duffin. The initial shot from the corner was saved but Eilidh Seedhouse was not sitting around but moving in to get the equaliser. The last few minutes saw a nervous Edinburgh side digging deep to keep the ball out.

When eth final whistle went a draw was as good as GCW could get from a resolute CALA side. With results elsewhere this result may prove to be crucial but the side need to be more on their game in future matches.

Sunday saw the conclusion of the U18 league in Edinburgh where the GCW girls lost the first game 3-2 to Grange. The day finished on a high though with a 3-2 win over Western Wildcats and some fine goals from the youngsters throughout the day.


Women up to Third

The Ladies in Black were away in Aberdeen in a derby fixture against Aberdeen University.When I say away I of course mean Aberdeen Sports Village. There were some familiar faces in the opposition with Lucy McLean and Maris Cawthorn lining up for the students.

The GCW girls were in control of the first half but despite some opportunities never really made it count as the students massed their defence.However two minutes from half time a long ball out of the GCW defence, after a rare university attack, found the ball being recovered in the Aberdeen unviersity 23metre area. Pressure applied by onrushing GCW forwards meant the clearance went straight to Nicole Duffin 20 yards out. Nicole strode into the circle and struck a clean shot past the keeper to put her charges 1-0 up at halftime.

With the advantage of scoring, a reinvigorated GCW side were 2-0 up within 2 minutes of the second half. A ball into the circle found its way to Heather Curry who placed the ball beyond the keeper only to strike the post but she reacted faster than anyone else to net the rebound. The GCW squad were well on top at this point and it only looked like a matter of time before the lead was increased and so it proved as a delighted Jen Smith opened her account by firing beyond the keeper.

A few changes were made and GCW lost some of their impetus and with 10 minutes remaining some sloppiness allowed the students to get a goal to lift their spirits but GCW saw out the game and might have scored more. 3-1 a solid win in Aberdeen and a step further up the table to third spot.

Also on Saturday the GCW 2s lost out 1-0 to Aberdeen ladies. On Sunday the 4s and 5s were playing and the 4s drew 0-0 but the 5s lost 8-0 at the new Bucksburn pitch. The youngsters in the 5s were  obviously still on holiday mode as all of the goals they conceded were in the first half and a much improved second half saw them play more like we know they can.


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