Aiming for hockey glory

The University’s women’s hockey club is preparing for one of the biggest matches in its history.

On May 25, the first team will play Milne Craig Clydesdale Western in the Scottish Cup final at Peffermill.

It’s the first time the women’s team has ever qualified for the final of the cup, which is one of the most prestigious trophies in Scottish hockey.

The match takes place at 2pm and supporters are welcomed. Tickets are £5 each and may be bought on the day.

Season of success

The cup final is a fitting climax to an extremely successful season for the club.

This season, the women’s first team finished third in Scottish National League Division 1, as well as winning British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Division 1A and the BUCS Trophy.

The team reached the final after winning a tough semi-final against defending cup champions and league winners Grove Menzieshill.

After extra time finished with the scores level at 2-2, the team faced the lottery of a penalty shoot-out, but goalkeeper Nikki Cochrane, a Scottish international, saved the final flick to secure the win.

Reaching the final of this national competition is a fantastic achievement and is testament to the talent of the squad, the dedication of their coaches and the continual support they have received from the whole of the club and the sports union throughout the year. For our first eleven to be competing at the top of performance sport inspires the rest of the club.

Alice KennedyEdinburgh University Women’s Hockey Club Captain

Hopes and prospects

Laura Mann, captain of the first team, said players' experiences at international level could stand them in good stead in the final.

Many members of the team play for Scotland and full or under-21 level, including Nikki Kidd, who has been selected to train with the GB squad, and player-coach Sam Judge.

Laura said: “I think it will be a tough game, but we have so many strengths in our squad - along with determination and commitment - to be able to get the win.

“The girls have been training really hard this year. Winning this final would mean so much to all of us as it would be a reward for how much work we have put in on the pitch and in the gym.

“The team this year have got on so well and it does show in our performances as we encourage each other and play as a team.”

Spotlight on hockey

The University is a key centre for Scottish hockey.

Its facilities at Peffermill, which include two international class water-based Astroturf pitches, are amongst the best in Europe, and host the majority of Scottish Hockey’s domestic and international programme.

The University has the biggest hockey clubs in Scotland, with 7 teams for men and 8 for women, all playing in National or local leagues. Both the Men’s and Women’s first teams play in the respective top divisions of Scottish hockey.

The University is known for its strength and breadth of hockey involvement. Coaches include Dennis Hay, who coached Great Britain’s women to a bronze medal in the Barcelona 1992 Olympic games, Eugene Connolly, manager of the Scotland men’s team, and former Olympian Graham Moodie.

Former player Alison Ramsay was one of the first inductees into the University’s Sports Hall of Fame. Alison attained over 250 international caps for Scotland and Great Britain, winning a bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.