Aspire Cup Round-up
This season’s Aspire Cup tournaments have served up a feast of entertaining youth hockey. Seven boys and seven girls teams from across the country have been involved in this season’s competitions for schools who are building towards playing in the Schools Cups.
Boys Aspire Cup
The boys’ tournament at Glenalmond College on 27 October had two groups. Perth Academy topped Pool A after a hard-fought 3-1 win against High School of Dundee and a good win against Wellington School. The High School were runners up in the pool after beating an inexperienced, but courageous, Wellington team, who made the long journey from Ayr.
Pool B was really tight and provided some great matches: Grove Academy drew 0-0 with Aberdeen Grammar School; and McLaren High School beat Jordanhill School 2-0, in the first round of matches. McLaren then edged Aberdeen GS 1-0 and Grove beat Jordanhill 3-0. This set up a thrilling encounter between the Dundonians and McLaren which finished 2-2, to see the Callander team win the group. Aberdeen beat Jordanhill to finish third.
All of this means that Perth Academy and McLaren High School will compete in the Aspire Cup Final at Peffermill on 18 March.
Girls Aspire Cup
The girls had two groups, played on different days. Pool A, which was played alongside the boys’ competition at Glenalmond, gave us three exciting matches.
Aberdeen GS and Kilgraston fought out a 1-1 draw, before the granite city team lost 0-1 to Queen Victoria School. This was the Dunblane team’s first match in a Scottish Hockey competition and they did themselves proud, with a first-class performance against a strong Aberdeen team. In the final match, Kilgraston scored two excellent goals before Queen Victoria hit back, but the Bridge of Earn team held on for a 2-1 win.
Pool B was at Peffermill in Edinburgh on 5 November and there were plenty of fireworks from Selkirk High School, who won the group with three great performances. After a 3-0 win v Stirling Schools, they turned on the style in beating Firrhill 5-0 before a hard-fought 2-0 win v North Berwick HS. The East Lothian team were runners-up after their 1-0 win against Firrhill and a 3-0 win v Stirling. Firrhill were third after beating Stirling 1-0.
The girls’ finalists on 18 March will therefore be Kilgraston School and Selkirk High School.
Entries for next season’s Aspire Cup will open in summer 2022 and we would be delighted to have even more teams from across Scotland entering this popular entry-level competition.
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