Tayforth vs ESA
Saturday 22nd February, 2pm
Armadale Academy, Bathgate, Scotland
In the days leading up to this friendly match, there was much worry that weeks poor weather would make the game impossible. Yet despite the obstacles ahead of us an impressive squad of 17 ESA players rocked up to the 3G pitch outside of Edinburgh to the welcome of an experienced Tayforth team.
Despite many players expecting brutal weather conditions, nothing could quite prepare us for the icy tundra that battered the pitch for the first 15 minutes of the game. Nevertheless, both teams fought through the storm and as the sky cleared into sunshine the shinty talent also revealed itself. The play was well matched for the first 30 minutes of the game with both teams making incursions into each others penalty areas. Shots from Chris Holley kept the Tayforth keeper on his toes and David MacLean's defence and Jamie Goodship's keeping kept the scoreline level. Unfortunately as half time neared the opposition unleashed their skill that had been nullified by the stormy weather gaining a quick sucession of goals in a matter of minutes. Pinpoint strikes and effective set plays gave the home side a 4-0 lead by halftime.
After a brief halftime respite and with Matt Mossop entering the field after his stint as referree, ESA returned to the pitch hopeful to prove their worth. Unfortunately the skies above Scotland had different ideas as a new battering of snow, hail and shots of lightning lashed the pitch. Simply looking in the direction of the ball brought painful whips from hailstones. Once again, both teams endured the blizzard and once again the skies cleared. With improved visability of the goal, a long shot by Chris Holley from the left wing managed to whistle past the Tayforth keepers leg to bring team onto the scoreboad. Despite matching the opposition well throughout the last 30 minutes, Tayforth managed to squeeze one more shot past our goaline cementing the outcome. Final Score 5-1.
A massive thank you to Tayforth Shinty Club for all the efforts in making this game happen and remaining in good spirits despite the brutal conditions. A big thanks to the whole ESA squad that travelled up for the match. Really impressive to see such committment from the team and hopefully this will have provided excellent practice for our upcoming Bullough Cup fixture in May.