Weather hits girls’ preparations

HOCKEY: A second successive training session for the Scottish girls’ under-16 squad was cancelled at the weekend and coach Bill Robson now has his fingers crossed that the weather will not cause further interruption to the preparation for this season’s international fixtures.

The girls face Wales in Wrexham in April, followed by a four nations tournament in Mannheim in May when Scotland will face the top three European nations – hosts Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.

“We had already lost one session in Stirling due to snow and then Sunday at Strathallan was cancelled because of frozen pitches,” said Robson. “It’s not too unusual to miss sessions at this time of year but it is a little inconvenient.

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“However, the players all train regularly with the regional performance coaches so they keep up their level of fitness. Our get-togethers are more about the team preparation.

“We have two training sessions in February so, hopefully, there won’t be any more disruption. It is an intensive programme from now until May and then there is a break before matches against Ireland and England in the summer.” Meanwhile, Mary Erskine’s won a roller coaster semi-final of the East of Scotland Knockout Cup against George Heriot’s and will face George Watson’s College in the final on 8 February at Peffermill in Edinburgh.

On a home pitch, Katie Love and Lucy Preston gave the Ravelston side a 2-0 lead, but Heriot’s hit back and drew level in the final minute.

So it all came down to the drama of running penalties. Caitlin Gray, Rebecca Pringle and Claire Thurlow scored for Mary Ersine’s. Goalkeeper Rowan Sinclair was in terrific form and saved all the Heriot’s attempts.