Midlands Youth Festival Sunday 25th March at Kilgraston by Keith Forster

Midland Youth Hockey Festival – Sunday 25th March

Well done to all players who turned out for us at Kilgraston School on what turned out to be a fine day for hockey both performance and weather-wise.  Everyone appeared to enjoy the experience which is what it is all about at this level.  Thanks of course to all parents for getting the players there and for your encouragement and support.

My apologies to our U12 Tornados team for leaving them a player short due to my player availability sheet listing two players who had not let me know they were no longer available.  I will try to get my act together a bit better for the future.

We fielded THREE teams in the 10 & under event –Dunfermline Eagles, Dunfermline Hawks and a Dunfermline Swifts team which contained one player playing only his second outdoor game and two young Ladies playing their first ever game.

Dunfermline EaglesWilliam Poole, Frazier Bennett, Zara Webb and Sarah Milne got on the winning trail after only TEN SECONDS against Perthshire ‘B’ and never looked back.  Admittedly the opposing teams were not as old or strong as they have been in the past but it would not have mattered if they had been because the teamwork and skills demonstrated by all four of our players would almost certainly have far outshone anything the other teams could have offered.

That first game against Perthshire ended in a 10 – 0 win for Eagles with three players contributing, William – 6, Zara – 3 and Frasier 1.  Game two against Kinross A resulted in a comfortable 10 – 1 win with all four players contributing with William – 4, Zara – 3, Sarah – 2 and Frasier – 1 followed by an equally comfortable victory over Madras A by 10 goals to 2 with William – 6, Sarah – 3 and Frasier – 1 on the scoreboard. Game four against Grove-Menzieshill Dragons was a more competitive game but good defending and equally  good passing by eagles was more than Grove could handle and the final whistle sounded with eagles winning by seven goals to nil thanks to William – 4, Zara – 2 and Frasier – 1.  There was still no let-up in game 5 against Stirling Wanderers where no mercy was shown in a 9 – 1 win with goals from William – 5, Zara – 3 and Sarah – 1

Dunfermline Hawks – Theo Wood, Adelaide Almond, Elena Beverland & Hannah Anderson played with confidence throughout once again with all four players sharing the goals though perhaps not scoring as freely as Eagles they never-the less won all five of their games.

In game 1 against Blairgowrie a steady start with many good passes built up a lead with goals from Hannah (2) and Elana.

Game two against Perthshire C saw Theo taking up a more attacking role and three goals from him plus one from Hannah gave Hawks a deserved 4 – 0 victory.

Game three against Kinross C was just as impressive producing the same 4 – 0 scoreline with Theo(2), Adelade and Hannah producing the goals.

After a short break it was back to business as usual in game four against Perthshire A with Theo trying, and succeeding, to play every position on the pitch helping the team to a 5 – 0 win scoring three goals in the process aided by Hannah and Elena with a goal each.

And so into the fifth and last game against Grove-Menzieshill with signs of flagging from the best part of an hours end to end hockey but still the opposition could not crack our organised defence but they did manage more than anyone else by registering one goal but ended up conceding four with three from Theo and one from Elena.

A perfect record from teams 1 and 2 was more than we anticipated though we did expect a more torrid time for our third squad – Dunfermline Swifts where we threw our remaining experienced player Hannah Lowe in at the deep end asking her to guide our three new players, Ellie Ralph, Sophie Ralph and Aidan Johnson which she achieved with great patience and understanding.

Swifts were unfortunate to have to face one of the better teams in their opening match in the shape of Grove-Menzieshill (a rather steep learning curve) and despite little understanding of what field positions are about the enthusiasm of our players was great to see.  Amazingly for a first ever game for two of the four we did score TWICE (Ellie and Aidan) but unfortunately despite very good and busy defending by Hannah they scored four.

Straight back on to play Stirling Wanderers our players looked more sure of themselves but shooting was not one of our strengths and a 2 – 0 defeat was the result.  The break between games 2 and 3 was very welcome and came along with a few tips and suggestions from some of the “auld-heids” watching from the sidelines.

Game 3 against Madras B was a fairly even affair but wee legs were definitely getting slower though tackling and effort could not be faulted and here again a 2 – 0 defeat was a superb effort.

By games five and six against Perthshire B and Kinross B Hannah was having to do most of the running to find the ball and pass it around and the team won their first ever match by defeating Perth 1 – 0 (Hannah) and were leading against Kinross by the same score (Hannah) right up to the final whistle when they snatched an equaliser at the death.

The Swifts team manager, Paul Ralph, had the following to say – “Once they adjusted to Hannah’s ability to both get them up the pitch and repel all invaders on her goal the artistry of Ellie in front of goal and the doggedness of Sophie’s scrapping for the ball plus Aidan’s tireless pursuit of the ball and determination to be in the thick of it threatened to be a winning combination just as we reached the final game”

A good effort by our 10 & under’s all around with plenty more to look forward to in the future.


Next up were our 12 & under squads of Carnegie Tornados and Carnegie Typhoons.  Both teams had done very well in the East District leagues in Edinburgh since Christmas so hopes were high even though a number of our regulars were not available for this event.

Two players we were expecting did not show (though that was probably my fault) meaning Tornados had to take the pitch with only six players instead of seven.  Those six TORNADOS were Adam Lowe, Ryan Dempsey, William Poole, Theo Wood, Robyn Hewie and Zara Webb.  The seven players representing Typhoons were:- Hannah Anderson G.K., Ross Campbell, Brodie Cuthbertson, Owen McKenzie, Andrew Morrison, Hannah Lowe and Anya Hegarty.

The Tournament draw pitted Tornados against Typhoons in the first of six fixtures.  The game produced a fairly even tussle which Tornados secured by 1 – 0  (Ryan).

Game two against Madras was a good contest in midfield but the opponents did not have a player like William who was creating havoc down our right flank netting three times in our 3 – 0 win.

Game three against Grove-Menzieshill A was a different story and Tornados were always chasing the game.  At 2 – 0 down we had hope when William pulled a goal back with four minutes to go put pushing everyone forward searching for the equaliser Tornados left themselves open for a break-away goal to lose the match 3 – 1.

Game four against Stirling Wanderers was played at a slower pace which was probably just as well as our one player short team did not have a break during those opening four games.  William got the scoresheet ticking over and goals by Robyn and Ryan and a second by William wound up a deserved 4 – 0 win.

Game five, after a one game break, was against the other good Grove-Menzieshill Dragons outfit and here again we were unable to cope with their pace and accurate passing and conceded this one by 3 goals to nil.

And so to our final game against Perthshire A where composure was regained and we ran out deserved winners by 5 – 1 William (3), Zara and Robyn.

P6  W4  D0 L2 For 14 – Ag 7


Typhoons meantime returned to power after their 1-0 defeat to Tornados by taking on and defeating Blairgowrie 3 – 1 in game two with goals from Owen (2) and Anya thanks to good passing moves.  A fourth goal was scored by Ross but the umpire chalked it off for no apparent reason.

Game three against Perthshire became a slightly heated affair when their very vocal coach insisted we take a player off because they only had six players and then proceeded to beat us by 3 goals to nil.

Game four against Madras was a fairly even game though the opposition had more shots on target than we did but Hannah in our goals was well up for it drawing praises from the Madras coach for her performance.  The game ended 2 – 2 with goals from Owen and Anya.

Game five against Grove-Menzieshill A produced somewhat of revenge result for them defeating our Tornados earlier when Anya scored the only goal of the game for a 1 – 0 win.


P5  W2  D1  L2  For 6 – Ag 7


Overall a great day out, thanks to all players and parents for making it possible and we hope you continue with the good work.

Unfortunately we were unable to enter the 14 & under event because we have no-one prepared to take on the organising of that age group despite having a lot of good youths to choose from.

The next Midlands Festival will be on SUNDAY 29th April, organised by our club at Woodmill H.S. – We hope to see you there.