June 17-19 saw the Scotland U16 Girls Development Squad undertake their final international of the season, a 3 match series against an older, very experienced Ulster U16 girls squad, at their home pitch, the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.
The first match took place on Friday afternoon at 4pm. Ulster was quick to take charge and dominate the play in a very fast paced, physical game, which seemed to take the young Scotland squad by surprise. Kelburne striker, Lucy Bliss, scored Scotland’s first goal to equalise 1-1 but after a promising first half for the home squad, the score finished with Ulster victorious 5-2.
The Scotland squad were down but not out and, instead, went back to the Glynhill to review their performance and discuss improvements. Their hard work and determination nearly paid off as the second match, on a sunny Saturday afternoon at 4pm, finished in a nailbiting 3-3 draw (a further Scotland goal was disallowed).
However a draw wasn’t good enough for the determined Scotland squad and again, the girls spent their evening and the next morning preparing for the third and final match on Sunday ahead. A team meeting analysed video of the match to hone their strengths and identify weaknesses in their opposition with the full match warmup spent rehearsing their plays.
Under Sunday's grey skies and light drizzle, Ulster tried again and again in vain to gain the upper hand, winning a series of short corners, which they subsequently failed to convert. However, the Scotland resolute remained firm and the girls working hard, finished the test series with a 3-0 victory (an Ulster goal in the dying minutes of the match was disallowed).
A great weekend of hockey to bring the U16s Girls international season to a close.
Lucy is currently age 13. She started her playing career as a Kelburne jockey at age 9 (pictured below with some Kelburne rising stars!) before progressing into the Ladies 3s where she has played for two seasons.