LOCH Lomond Hockey Club’s first team suffered late heartbreak in their first fixture of 2019 on Saturday after conceding a last-minute goal to allow opponents Stepps to earn a 1-1 draw.

Loch Lomond had a full squad against a strong and experienced Stepps team, and it was the hosts who had most of the possession in the first half – but Loch Lomond defended and communicated very well, giving Stepps little room to create anything.

The first half ended goalless, with the two goalkeepers each having a couple of good saves, but the game opened up in the second half – particularly in the final 20 minutes as both teams stepped up the pace and went for the win.

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Against the run of play Loch Lomond opened the scoring from a well-worked short corner move between Vanessa Sabala and Rosie McColgan, and only the post denied the visitors a second.

But Loch Lomond’s hopes were dashed in the final minute as Stepps won a free hit just outside the D; keeper Heather Smith made a great save, but the rebound fell for an unmarked Stepps player who was just able to push it over the line for the equaliser.

In a fine all-round team performance, another stellar game from Smith earned her player of the match and opposition player of the match awards, while the rolling subs rule was used well to kept the play fresh and allow players a breather.

Thanks to umpire John Friel for keeping a lid on things and allowing the game to flow.

Squad. Heather Smith, Lauren McCreadie, Sue Aikman, Caroline Lyall, Evie Harkins, Rebecca Lightfoot, Vanesa Sabala, Sophia Louise McDermott, Eliza Ritchie, Kirsty Cordner, Rosie McColgan, Kirsty Richardson, Kim McCalliion, Gillian Finch.

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Meanwhile, Loch Lomond’s second team put in a strong effort in their first match of the year but found themselves on the wrong end of a 5-0 scoreline against Rottenrow Blue Sox.

Despite the long break Loch Lomond’s teamwork and fitness levels were up to scratch, but they were unable to turn their opportunities in the D into goals and found themselves 2-0 down at half time.

The second half was more of the same, with some great hits and pushing play from the back by the hosts going unrewarded as Rottenrow added three more goals to their tally.

The player of the match and opposition player of the match awards went to Eve Howard, with Jane Neil runner up.

Thanks to Dayle Hartopp for umpiring the match.

Loch Lomond goalie smocks are sponsored by Millions, the tiny, tasty chewy sweet.

Squad : Emma O’Neill, Jane Neil, Anna Currie(capt), Eve Howard, Kara Kerr, Alexandra Smith, Naomi Erica, Alanna Hill, Jenny Tripney, Megan Glover, Chloe Harrison, Anna English, Ava Currie, Lex Clarkson, Jenna Gallacher.