5s Get First Win of the Season

This weekend saw the three ladies teams who were playing all winning by the odd goal.The pride of place this weekend though goes to the ladies 5s. Kevin Goodbrand has been working away with his young squad with little success until the last few games. A draw two weeks ago was a start but this wekend saw the girls achieve their first win of the season.The opposition was Aberdeen Uni 4s who claimed victory in the first meeting this season. The game was even until about the final quarter when the belief and energy of the 5s came to the fore. The goal was a fine piece of individual skill by Becky Sinclair down the right and a nutmeg of the keeper to finish it off. Thanks also goes to Jen Tait who umpired and jen Smith who supervised.

Saturday had the ladies 1s at home but with a slightly depleted squad due to games going on in Edinburgh. The game was dominated by the ladies and in the first 20 minutes it looked like it might be a rout with the St Andrews defence being given no respite. It was a Jen Tait goal that put the ladies 1-0 with a nifty piece of stickwork around the keeper. Sadly that was the end of the scoring as St Andrews improved in the second half and GCW missed a few chances.

On Saturday the 2s also had a narrow win deservedly beating Aberdeen Ladies 2-1. The winning strike came from Eva Sheal. 

 

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Welcome Back Outdoor

The National Outdoor leagues started back in earnest this weekend with the GCW girls taking on Grange in Aberdeen. The away game saw a tough match in which GCW ran out 1-0 winners.

The game started slowly for GCW who managed to take their own push back all the way back to their left back to allow Grange to get on the front foot. Nothing ensued from this attack and the girls soon began to get in their rhythm The GCW pressing was spot on for most of the first half and forced a well drilled Grange side to give the ball away under pressure several times in the first half. There were early corners which were not really executed well by GCW and allowed the away defence to clear their lines. The pattern of play was well evident for most of the half but 20 minutes in and a lone foray forward by Grange forced a long corner and from this the ball found its way into the circle and then beyond the GCW keeper and despite an effort to recover by Fay Bruce the ball trundled over the line for Grange to take the lead.

Although taken aback by this event GCW just kept going and eventually got an equaliser 7 minutes before half time when Jen Tait forced herself into the circle on the right hand side and fired a shot goalwards.The problem was it was going straight at the keeper, our usual problem. Jess Barr however also was between keeper and striker, she stopped eth ball with her back to goal and spun and shot beyond the keeper to level the match up.

That was the end of the scoring with GCW continually pressing in the second half and the Grange keeper performing extremely well. One such shot saw Eilidh Seedhouse pick the ball up on the 22 yard line go directly into the circle and fire what looked a perfect backhand shot but somehow the keeper just got enough on it to touch it round the post.

Despite late efforts by GCW the game finished 1-1 a solid performance against a top four team that should have resulted in a win on the balance of play but the Grange defence and keeper deserve credit for holding out strongly.

Friday night saw a game for the 3s against Aberdeen Uni 3s. The young GCW side dominated throughout but scoring again proved a bit of an issue with several scrambled clearances by the students. On this occasion however Esther’s charges went 1-0 up ten minutes into the second half when a ball in on the right rebounded out to Elle Clow who took two efforts to sweep the ball home for what was a deserved winner. They were joy to watch as a young side passing the ball well tackling strongly and proving powerful against their older opponents.

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Ladies Indoor Firsts finish 4th

It was the final indoor Sunday for the National League girls on Sunday with a trip to Perth. The girls needed 4 points to secure 3rd and 3 points  to secure 4th in the table.

First up was the game versus Bon Accord. This game went exactly as it did in on the previous match but on this occasion GCW went 1-0 up. The girls were in control of the game although ha couple of breaks by Bon Accord through the middle tested Jess Walker. However in the second quarter Bon Accord got an equaliser from a turnover ball and some confusion in the GCW defence. The game from this point was about GCW attacking and creating opportunities and the Bon Accord goalkeeper / defence performing stoutly. The game moved into its final phase at 2-2. The game then changed significantly when a lifted ball into the circle over a stick was not spotted by the umpire and Bon Accord scored. The girls came straight back but could not find the final touch their play deserved. Then with 10 seconds to go GCW got a penalty Corner. The umpire let the clock run down GCW took the corner and scored and to everyone’s surprise the goal was not given as the umpire had not dropped his hand. The retaken corner was saved and Bon Accord ran out 3-2 winners.

Game 2 looked more straight forward when Jess Barr fired home the GCW first corner and then in period 2 GCW extended their lead to 2-0. Late in period 2 Western got a gaol back and in the third period Western got an equaliser. Chances were being missed and the feeling of “here we go again” was prevalent. However with two minutes remaining a move through the middle found a pass to the back side of the goal for Eilidh Seedhouse to net the winner from all of a yard. The girls finished 4th but for a few strange moments in the season could have finished 3rd.

Saturday saw the GCW 2s take on Ellon and run out 6-0 winners which featured the 2s first appearance with a keeper all season. The girls were solid and made Brogan Wilson’s game as keeper very easy. Sunday the GCW 3s kept their results going with 7-2 and 8-2 victories.

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Everyone Loves Indoor

The Ladies 1s continued their National 2 programme in Dundee on Sunday and a smaller squad than the previous weekend set about three games in the day from 9am to 4.20pm. A long day but a reasonably successful day.

I will choose to omit the middle game against champions Western Wildcats. A defeat was anticipated but we did not play well and as the youngsters say “nuff said”. However the good news occurred either side of the Western game with two wins which were more comfortable than expected. The first up was a 4-1 win against Dundee Wanderers where a 0-0 first period was quickly turned around by a Jen Tait goal in the second period. Jess Barr added a further two goals rounding the keeper in surprisingly similar style. The final goal was a peach. Jess Barr fired the ball off the inside of the nearside upright across the goal into the opposite side net. In this case we can legitimately call it “straight off the training ground”.

The final game of the day was against a young Grove side where the girls ran out 8-2 winners. The score could have been greater but for some ambitious shooting and over running the ball but it was a pleasant way to finish the day. Abby Miller even having time to explain to her opposite number that she can beat her several times using the same skill.

Saturday was not so successful for the girls 2s with two defeats. It is however fair to say the performances were better and had they got a goalkeeper the scores would have been different. On Sunday the girls 3s took on Ellon in District 2 and ran out 6-0 winners with a hat trick from Esther Walterson.

In the morning on Sunday we had 16 youngsters out playing in the U14s looked after by Fay Bruce and Esther Walterson. The two sides played 3 games each side won 2 and lost 1. Not a bad weekend all round for the GCW Indoor Ladies.

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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. 

 

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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