Shinty Club - Semester 1 Report 2016-17
Saturday 28 January 2017
St Andrews Women’s Shinty ended the semester undefeated. While unfortunately some games had to be postponed, our victories thus far have us currently ranked at the top of our league. Starting off the semester with a goal of recruiting many new members to keep our club participation strong, we were successful in being joined by a great mixture of both first years and older students, including some studying abroad. We were able to focus on training these new girls and introducing them to the sport while also building on the talent of the returning girls; for the third year in a row we had a player listed to the Scottish National Shinty team.
Continuing the traditions of the social side of our team, we were proud of the dedication shown by the club as a whole, going beyond our training 2-3 times per week and planning extra events beyond our weekly socials such as our pub quiz at the Rule. Commitment to the team was shown by several of our alumni returning for our Christmas dinner and annual ceilidh, events successfully organized by the club. As part of our effort to participate in and encourage the growth of the shinty community beyond St Andrews, we also planned a social with the University of Dundee team, and have begun coordinating our end-of-year tour with shinty teams in southern England.
Working simultaneously on the fundamentals of the sport and broader team strategy, we have been greatly successful in improving team play and fitness as a whole while maintaining our ‘anyone is welcome, anytime’ attitude for newcomers. While next year we will miss our members who have joined us while on semesters or years abroad, we are proud so many participated during their time at St Andrews and it is testimony to the standing of shinty as an essential aspect of Scottish culture, and therefore the St Andrews Experience.
The Men’s Team began the season by hosting the annual trials for the Scottish Universities Shinty team. The boys started out by shaking off the rust of a summer off and were defeated in the first 6-a-side game of the day by Strathclyde University. After a poor start the team rallied well and, thanks to our strong bench we were able to push Glasgow University all the way, narrowly losing out to a goal in the dying seconds of the match. This was followed up by strong performances against Edinburgh and Dundee Universities but the day ended without a victory for the team. On the whole it was not the start to the season we had wanted and despite several players receiving commendations from the selection committee ultimately no players made the final squad.
Undeterred the boys pushed on and played our first game of the league season against Dundee University just three days after the trials. It was a tighter affair than the 5-0 victory we had had the previous season, but thanks to a hat trick from Jack Rennison and a fourth from Rory Forbes we were able maintain a lead throughout. Despite Dundee’s dangerous forwards we held out for a 4-3 victory to extend our 12-a-side unbeaten run to five games. We finished the year with another defeat to Strathclyde University before hosting RGU and playing out a 1-1 draw, with our goal being the result of deflected Fionn Kennedy shot. Despite a smaller squad than last year the team has improved greatly in its skill level and will look to push and consolidate a place in the top half of the league table.
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