George Heriot’s usurp capital rivals

George Heriot's squad: McKenzie Bell, Naomi Parks, Lorna Cruickshank Robin Robeson, Emma Tennant, Mhairi McGregor, Kate Franklin, Julia Caton, Lucie Keenan, Rachel Smith, Emily Powell, Amy Harrison Ella Watt, Erin Stringer, Susie Robertson, Vicky Hydes, Iona Holmes. Picture: Contributed
George Heriot's squad: McKenzie Bell, Naomi Parks, Lorna Cruickshank Robin Robeson, Emma Tennant, Mhairi McGregor, Kate Franklin, Julia Caton, Lucie Keenan, Rachel Smith, Emily Powell, Amy Harrison Ella Watt, Erin Stringer, Susie Robertson, Vicky Hydes, Iona Holmes. Picture: Contributed
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GEORGE Heriot’s have stood out as the top girls’ hockey school this season.

The Edinburgh school won the Cheviot Quilter Scottish Open Cup and the East of Scotland Indoor and Outdoor Championships. and also reached the final of the Scottish Under-18 Indoor Cup, only losing out to Craigholme School due to a last-gasp penalty.

Two of the Heriot’s players – captain McKenzie Bell and Lorna Crickshank – are in the Scottish Under-18 squad, while Ella Watt and Rachel Smith are in the national under-16s.

Heriot’s have tended to be overshadowed by George Watson’s College and Mary Erskine School in recent times, but coach Gill Mollison is delighted that the breakthrough has been achieved.

“We have been a good team, but Watson’s and Mary Erskine have been the best in Scotland in the last few years and, because we are all in the East District, it meant we had to get past both of them,” said 
Mollison. “But this year we had more belief.

“Another reason we have done well is because of the players below district level. They have really improved. There has been a great team spirit, it has been a real team effort. One or two great individuals don’t make a squad. It needs everyone working together.

“I’m also optimistic about next season. McKenzie. Lorna and goalkeeper Naomi Parks are the only sixth years in the squad.”

But it is not only the success of the top squad that pleases Mollison, who has been coach at Heriot’s for 13 years.

“We send out six senior teams, three third year, three second year and four first year teams every week,” she continued.

“It’s nice to get good results but, when obesity is becoming such a problem, it is just as important to get the pupils out playing sport and keeping fit.”