REBECCA LIGHTFOOT hit Loch Lomond’s equaliser as the club’s newly-promoted first team secured a battling 1-1 draw away to Dumfries in their first league game of the new season.

All players arrived very excited to play in a new division and with a new coach, Rosie McColgan – and the visitors started very well, playing some strong one-twos and excellent round the back play.

Loch Lomond took the jump to the first division in their stride and it was not apparent at all that they were the newcomers. In fact, they were all over Dumfries and were really unlucky not to score in the first half.

Dumfries came out strongly in the second half, but Loch Lomond absorbed all their pressure with some fine defending – only for the home side to open the scoring after a complete fluke.

Loch Lomond, however, showed the fighting spirit which will serve them well in the higher division this season, and the visitors levelled the game after a lovely team goal, with the ball being worked patiently from the defence, through the midfielders and on to the forwards before Lightfoot put the final touch to an excellent move.

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There was too little time left for either side to snatch a winner, but Loch Lomond could still take great heard from a fine all-round team performance, new and returning players alike performing well to secure a result which should give Loch Lomond great heart ahead of the matches wich will follow in the next few weeks.

Zoe Canty was Loch Lomond’s player of the match, with Vicki Perry and Lauren McCreadie chosen as runner-up, while Dumfries chose Vanesa Sabala as their opposition player of the match. Thanks to Dumfries for providing two umpires.

Squad: Elaine Brown, Sue Aikman, Zoe Canty, Lauren McCreadie, Evie Harkins, Vicki Perry, Vanesa Sabala, Eliza Ritchie, Sophia McDermott, Heather Cullen, Rebecca Lightfoot, Bonghui Tabasarala, Alex Smith, Jenny Tripney, Kirsty Cordner.

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Loch Lomond’s second team put their opening-day home defeat behind them in fine fashion as they won 2-1 away to Ayr’s second XI.

Loch Lomond knew that it would be a tough game, and it was indeed end to end action throughout; the visitors pressed from the outset with great play from back to front, and the defence was solid as a rock, with Colette Sweeney, stepping effortlessly into goals, keeping the visitors in the game with some inspirational first half saves.

The away team pressed high and the tactic paid off when Hannah Collier opened the scoring just before half time.

But the visitors knew they would have to up their game to maintain and increase their lead – and they duly obliged, with every team member playing for each other and putting the home side under constant pressure by chasing down almost every ball.

Despite that, Ayr did break on occasion – and it was from one such break that the home side levelled the scores with a scrappy goal.

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Loch Lomond, though, opened up the game in search of a winner – and their approach paid off with eight minutes to go when Eve Howard played a hard ball into the wide open D, and Rachel Peacock stretched to get an angel’s kiss of a touch to the ball and divert it into the net.

What remained of the match seemed to drag on for a lifetime, but Loch Lomond battled hard and shut down their hosts to secure a well deserved win.

Ayr chose Collette Sweeney as their Loch Lomond player of the match, while the Loch Lomond squad gave their own award jointly to keeper Sweeney and to Anna English, who had a solid performance in defence.

Midfielders Hannah Collier and Eve Howard shared the runner-up award, while Anna Currie and Kara Kerr were appointed as captain and vice-captain respectively.

Squad: Colette Sweeney, Jane Neil, Anna Currie, Kara Kerr, Anna English, Eve Howard, Hannah Collier, Naomi Sheerer, Alanna Hill, Elaine Wotherspoon, Kim McCallion, Eilidh Hill, Ava Currie, Jenna Gallagher, Rachael Peacock.