The curtain came down on the Youth Indoor season with our U18 National Finals at The Peak, Stirling on Sunday 4 February. After a thrilling day’s hockey, The Glasgow Academy girls and Grove Menzieshill boys emerged as the 2024 champions.
Both competitions had two pools of three teams, with the pool winners qualifying for the final, and the others playing off for places 3-6.
Dollar Academy raced into a 3-0 lead against Mary Erskine School (MES) in the first match in Pool A. A double from Sarah Cassels in the first 5 minutes, and one from Aileen McAuslane seemed to have secured a comfortable win for Duncan Riddell’s team. However, MES fought to the end, scoring penalty corners from Lucy Atherton and Ella Mundell to make it 3-2 at full-time.
George Heriot’s School, coached by Amy Brodie, dominated the opening match in Pool B, beating Hutchesons’ Grammar School 4-0. Tallulah McMorris and Ellie Coulson scored before two penalty corners from Jessica Garden wrapped up the win.
Amber Wade’s first minute goal seemed to have given The Glasgow Academy (TGA) the points against MES, but an equaliser from Heather Doney with 2 minutes left and an overtime penalty corner by Ella Mundell gave MES a 2-1 win.
Hutchesons’ bounced back with a 4-2 win against Peebles High School. Goals by Layli Phillips, Miranda Schulian, Emma Gilmour and Andie Gillespie gave them a 4-0 lead, but the Borderers never stopped fighting and deservedly scored two late goals from Eve Rathie.
In the final Pool A match, The Glasgow Academy snatched pole position with a 3-1 win against Dollar Academy. Two goals from Alexandra Burdon and one from Molly MacFadzean were enough to counter Riley Thomson’s reply. One more goal would have seen Dollar through to the final on goal difference, but TGA goalie, Ashley Herbert pulled off some great saves.
In Pool B, George Heriot’s cruised into the final with a 4-0 win over Peebles. Another two penalty corners from Jessica Garden, plus field goals from Amy Edgar and Stella Dickson did the damage.
In the 5th/6th Play-off, Dollar Academy beat Peebles 5-1, including another Sarah Cassels double. Chloe Dagg got Peebles’ consolation.
MES finished 3rd with a 4-0 win against Hutchesons in their play-off. Emily Morris scored two well-taken penalty corners.
The final was a classic! Three times, Heriot’s went ahead only to be pegged back by a resilient TGA. Goals from Amy Edgar, Tallulah McMorris and Ellie Coulson looked like taking the trophy to Edinburgh, with Amber Wade’s double seemingly in vain until Beth Allan grabbed a dramatic equaliser in the last minute.
That meant it would be decided on running penalties! Amber Wade and Alexandra Burdon scored for TGA, and Tallulah McMorris and Chloe Mowat held their nerve for Heriot’s. Goalies Ashley Herbert (TGA) and Isla McCormack (Heriot’s) made crucial saves to take it to sudden-death. Wade, Burdon and McMorris scored again, before Herbert was the hero for TGA as she saved the final penalty.
Congratulations to The Glasgow Academy and their coaches, Mark Ralph and Rhona Toft.
Gordonians started the Boys’ competition with a bang, as Tom Richardson scored in the first minute. However, Grove Menzieshill were soon level through captain Findlay Duncan, and they went on to win 5-1. Euan Van Aswegan, Oliver Cooper, John Donald and Alfie Bonnar scored the others.
Pool 2 started with an exciting 1-1 draw between Clydesdale and Grange. MacAulay scored for Clydesdale in the sixth minute before Cameron Miller equalised.
Once again Gordonians’ Tom Richardson scored early, only to see his team lose 1-2 to Inverleith in Pool 1. Callum Young equalised for the purples, before Ben Turtle grabbed the winner with a penalty corner on the final buzzer.
Goalkeepers and defences were on top in the Grange v Strathallan match. However, with two minutes remaining Alexander English scored the only goal of the game to give Strathallan the win.
Inverleith and Grove Menzieshill also served up a defensive masterclass, with a tense, end-to-end match finishing goal-less. Inverleith took off their goalie with 2 minutes left as they needed to win to make the final, but couldn’t find a way past the Dundonians’ shot-stopper, Finlay Ross.
The final match in Pool 2 was another tight encounter. In the end, Strathallan’s Seb Sedlaczek’s ninth-minute goal earned a 1-0 win against a strong Clydesdale team.
With Grange and Clydesdale having identical records, they had to have a penalty shoot-out to decide 2nd and 3rd places in Pool 2. In a best-of-3 shoot-out, Grange’s Fergus Allan was the only scorer, with his team’s goalie, Archie Fletcher proving unbeatable.
In the 5th/6th play-off, Gordonians produced their best performance of the day to beat Clydesdale 2-1. Penalty corners from captain Callum Bradford and Charlie Hardie proved decisive, with Forsyth getting Clydesdale’s consolation.
Inverleith finished 3rd with a 3-0 win against Grange in an Edinburgh derby. Callum Young, Xander Miller and Finlay Duncan scored the goals for Tom Morrison’s team.
The final immediately sparked into life with Alfie Bonnar scoring for Grove Menzieshill in the first minute, only for Seb Sedlaczek to equalise for Strathallan two minutes later. Grove’s response was immediate, as Findlay Duncan made it 2-1 a minute later. And just on half-time, Murdo Kiddie made it 3-1.
Grove Menzieshill turned on the style in the second half, scoring three more goals to secure a 6-1 win. Murray Griffiths scored before Alfie Bonnar scored two more to complete his hattrick.
Congratulations to the Grove Menzieshill boys and their coaches/managers, Chris Bonnar, Euan Ross and Graeme Kiddie. It has been five years since Grove Menzieshill won this trophy, after dominating it with three wins in four years between 2016-2019.
A huge thank you to all the umpires and officials who made it such a successful and enjoyable event. They are all volunteers, and most were there for the duration of a very busy, long day.