Perthshire 1 v Shetland 0
With the sun shining at the Aberdeen Sports Village, Shetland faced their next game in the District Cup against Perthshire, who were themselves taking part in their third District Cup.
Perthshire won the toss and started with the pass back. This however was quickly intercepted by the Shetland midfield and within the first minute Gayle Johnson broke down the left wing beating her marker and found Sarah Grogan who linked well with Zoe Irvine to provide the first to test on the Perthshire goalie, Anna Gourlay.
In the sixth minute Perthshire managed to break into the Shetland D, which was defended well by Nicola Blance ensuring nothing was going to get past her.
Shetland were back on the attack from the turnover and won the first penalty corner of the game. It was Josie Jamieson who took the strike, but this was saved by the keeper and cleared for a corner.
Shetland drove on from here and won another penalty corner. This time Jamieson tested the goalie with a flick on target, but Gourlay again managed to beat it away for another corner.
Shetland had the Perthshire team camped in their own half now and 20 minutes on they were awarded four more penalty corners in a very strong period for the Shetland team. Unfortunately they could not find a way past the goalie.
In the 30th minute Perthshire were finally able to relieve the pressure and they won two quick penalty corners, which were well dealt with by the Shetland defence of Toni Sidgwick, Maree Simpson, Fiona Dally, Nicola Blance and captain Maggie Irvine.
Shetland finished this half the way they started in Perthshire’s half, with good moves from Brenda Leask and Stacey Laurenson playing through to Zoe Irvine who was stopped by the on-rushing goalie. The half time score was 0-0.
The second half started like the first had finished, with Shetland continuing to move the ball around neatly and attack the Perthshire defence.
Zoe Irvine was able to break through and cut the ball back from the back line, but it was hit wide of the target. It was then time for Josie Jamieson to take the ball from the right and cut inside across the top of the D and get her shot away, but this was well defended by the very impressive Siobhan Penman in the Perthshire defence.
Shetland kept the pressure on winning corners and with good play from Jamieson set up a nice one-two with Laurenson, but this strike on goal was again cleared.
Mid-way through the second half the game started being more of a battle for possession in the middle of the pitch, with Maggie Irvine playing a major part in intercepting play and bringing the Shetland team forward.
Shetland were to win a couple more corners with Zoe Irvine always looking dangerous in the circle, but this was well closed down by two defenders.
Twenty minutes into the second half Perth were able to break through the Shetland press with a great ball from Penman, but Maggie Irvine was there again to intercept. A misplaced pass by Shetland allowed Perth to get in the Shetland D, but Toni Sidgwick was there to make the save.
Shetland broke down the left from the clearance with Brenda Leask finding Victoria Duthie who was able to make her way into the Perthshire goal mouth and win a penalty corner on the 57th minute. Jamieson struck the ball and after a scramble in the D the goalie managed to clear the ball out off the back line before Duthie could have a shot on goal.
On the 59th minute there was a roar from the Shetland support as they watched the ball hit the Perthshire backboard, but unfortunately none of the Shetland forwards could get the touch needed to make it count.
A minute later Josie Jamieson was able to intercept a pass and break free for a one on one with the goalie, but unfortunately slipped.
Perthshire broke again but found Fiona Dally dependable and calm at the back to make the tackles count. Maree Simpson was working hard to keep the right side clear of danger and she fed some great balls through to Stacey Laurenson who was able to win yet another corner, which Perthshire managed to clear.
Jillian Copland was playing some great balls through to the forwards from the middle of the pitch but with four minutes to go Perthshire broke and won a penalty corner. Perthshire realising this was one of their last chances for a goal gathered their strongest players calling on some of their defence to come up for it.
Looking dangerous the ball was pushed out and the shot on goal was taken, this deflected up off a stick and was saved by Sidgwick but spun off and over the defenders on the line giving Perthshire the 1-0 lead.
Shetland dug deep and gave a big push in the last few minutes. This pressure in the dying few seconds resulted in Zoe Irvine winning the last penalty corner of the game. The shot was taken but unfortunately went wide, just inches off the left hand post, leaving the final score 1-0 to Perthshire.
After the game Shetland coach Peter Sharp said: “After Shetland played so well and with most of the play in the Perthshire half, this was an extremely hard one to take, but we all agree that this has been a great experience and the team never looked out their depth in this competition. We now look forward to taking part again next year.”
The team thanked DITT and NorthLink for sponsoring them through the competition, making it possible to take part in the cup, and all the supporters who made it along to cheer the team on.