North Conference delivers another weekend of competitive hockey
There was much to savour in today`s North Conference, Aberdeen University gain full marks for a 3-2 win over Ellon for their first points of the season in the women`s event, while in the men Gordonians fired in nine against Ellon.
Aberdeen University were not slow in showing their upset credentials, inside two minutes, they went ahead in rather curious circumstances. A shot from Sophie McGlynn seemed to have been from outside the circle, it was left by the Ellon keeper as it entered the net, but the umpire awarded a goal nevertheless.
Undaunted, Ellon persisted and were rewarded with an equaliser, a great run by Brooke Willox on her debut set up Gracie Grey-Giles to finish off the move.
In what was becoming a ding-dong affair, the students went ahead for the second time when Mia Kennedy fired home a rebound at a penalty corner. Back came Ellon and Abby Wilson levelled at 2-2 with a conversion at the back post.
However, it was the students who stole the show and the points, a cracking strike from the top of the circle by Stephanie Wilkie to round off the upset. Ellon then planted themselves in the students` circle for the last ten minutes in search of another equaliser – but to no avail.
At the end, Ellon captain Louise Gordon admitted: “Bad result for Ellon. We seemed to be lacking the fight today.
As a result, Gordonians extended their lead at the top of the table with a 2-1 win over Granite City Wanderers. The leaders started off rather slowly and found themselves a goal down early in the first quarter.
Although Gordonians quickly recovered their composure, it took to the third quarter before they made any inroads into the deficit. Some great work down the left-hand side by Lyndsey Davidson created the opening and Alice Pridham finished off the move. The winner came from a penalty corner conversion by Hannah Mitchell.
Captain Rebecca Murray assessed: “We were really pleased with our performance today and it`s great to see the youngsters continue to progress week on week.”
In the men`s Conference, an open play strike from Doug Soden gave Granite City Wanderers a half-time lead over a rather depleted Aberdeen Grammar FP outfit. Despite that disadvantage and Granite City dominating proceedings, that was how the score stood going into the final quarter of the game.
Then Granite City made their superiority tell in goals, a well-worked penalty corner switch gave Neil Morton-Lloyd the opportunity to add a second. Soden got his own second from open play and the scoring was completed with a direct set piece strike from Andy McLaren for the fourth.
However, Granite City still remain in the second spot as leaders Gordonians beat Ellon 9-1 to hold on to pole position on goal difference.
Gordonians coach Adam Walker embarked on another squad rotation policy, Matthew Humphreys, the oldest player at 25, was in midfield. Ollie Serle retained his place in goal after last weekend`s debut, and Craig Dickson made his first appearance.
Despite the apparent experimentation, Gordonians launched into a goal avalanche, five up after the first quarter and although the spate slowed up afterwards the league leaders still rattled in nine at the end.
There were two goals each for Harry Leggett, Robbie Wallis and Paul Weston while the others emanated from Ciaran Mackland, Louis Roddy and Phil Moon.
A Gordonians` source said: “A combination of well worked outfield goals and confidently executed corners saw us go 5-0 up in the first quarter. “In the second half the quality dropped off slightly with passes being misplaced, while Ellon continued their willingness to look for attacking opportunities and this culminated in their scoring a well worked back post outfield goal.”
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