LAST WEDNESDAY the University of St Andrews Women’s hockey 1st XI took on the Strathclyde University 1st XI in what was a very tense and frustrating game of hockey.

With the sun in our eyes, Strathclyde stormed onto the pitch, claiming a goal within the first 10 minutes of the game. This goal served to focus St Andrews and got the team into their stride.

The two teams were reasonably equally matched for the majority of the game, with the bright sunlight and cold conditions suppressing the play.

St Andrews played some brilliant hockey, with Siobhan Gill pushing up the field from the defence, but unfortunately St Andrews never managed to make that final pass towards the goal, leaving the score 1-0 at half time.

With a half-time talk filled with words of encouragement and a push for more communication on the pitch from captain Becca Bamford, St Andrews came back with force. The pace of the game picked up immensely with great switching of the ball around the defence by Anna Smrckova and Hilary Dixon, which kept the play predominantly in the attacking half.

10 minutes from the end, Heather Elder had two incredible breaks through the Strathclyde defence up towards the goal. The second break began with a pass up the line from Isla McNaught to Bamford, who crossed the ball in to Elder, who, after dodging a couple of players, sent a lovely pass into the D, the move being finished off by Becky Bottle.

With St Andrews back with a chance to win they became ever-more determined. The rest of the game was intense to watch and frustrating for the players. Despite deserving another goal due to the earnest efforts of the St Andrew’s girls and many chances on goal, the Strathclyde defence remained solid and the game ended 1-1.

The ‘man of the match’, as voted by the team after the game, was shared between Anna Smrckova and Siobhan Gill.

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