LOCH Lomond Hockey Club began their year with a 3-2 defeat away to league leaders Rottenrow Blue Sox last Saturday – but there were plenty of reasons for the visitors to take heart after a fighting performance.

Despite the torrential rain, Loch Lomond were well up for the match, with a fully re-grouped squad including several players returning from illness and injury.

But the home side started the game with some very dynamic passing and attacking play, stunning Loch Lomond by scoring an early goal just two minutes after the starting whistle.

This threatened to set the tone of the game in the opposition’s favour, but Loch Lomond kept their heads up and began to apply the pressure.

READ MORE: Loch Lomond first XI edged out by Troon in last match of 2019

Defenders Sue Aikman and Vicki Perry worked skilfully together and successfully cleared further attempts from the Blue Sox team to capitalise in the D, enabling the visiting midfielders to send accurate passes up to the strikers, but, unfortunately, Loch Lomond were unable to convert any into a goal.

Elaine Brown in goal made some fantastic saves, but was unlucky when Rottenrow scored their second goal from a free hit.

Loch Lomond continued to work hard and were rewarded with a well-executed re-bounding shot at goal from a short corner, scored by Vanessa Sabala, bringing the score to 2-1 in Rottenrow’s favour at half-time.

Molly Macken made some impressive runs down the right of the pitch early in the second half, and after Loch Lomond earned another penalty corner, Vicki Perry converted from a rebound off the opposition goalkeeper.

But the league leaders didn’t take the loss of their advantage lying down, and Rottenrow turned up the pressure before unleashing a skilful ‘tomahawk’ shot from the top of the attacking circle into the corner of the net to make it 3-2.

READ MORE: Hard day at home for Loch Lomond as first team lose to Rottenrow

With the final whistle approaching, Loch Lomond knew they had to keep up the intensity of their game and Vicki Perry was desperately unlucky to see her ‘goal’ from a superb shot from the top of the D was disallowed, ending the game 3-2 to the home side.

Despite the result, Loch Lomond had plenty of reasons to be positive after a battling display – and a much closer score line than their last encounter with the league leaders, who won 7-0 at Hermitage Academy back in November.

Loch Lomond would like to thank John Friel for umpiring and Millions for sponsoring the goalkeeper smocks.

Vicki Perry was awarded the opposition player of the match and player of the match for her amazing work; runner up was goal keeper Elaine Brown.

Squad: Elaine Brown, Vicki Perry, Zoe Canty, Sue Aikman, Lauren McCreadie, Sophia McDermott, Vanesa Sabala, Sharon Crossan, Eliza Ritchie, Rebecca Lightfoot, Rosie McColgan, Kirsten Bruce, Fiona Thompson, Molly Macken, Heather Cullen and Bongiwe Tshabalala.

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