The Men’s 1s team returned to National League Division 2 this season, which they knew would bring challenges. They started off with tough games, losing to Inverleith and drawing with Perthshire, but then it started coming together with wins against Glasgow University and Stepps. It’s been a impressive showing so far and at the break; the team was sitting a healthy fourth in the league and are looking forward to the second half of the season.
The Men’s 2s have had a tremendous season so far, only losing one match in the league and cup! The team is currently top of East Division 1, two points clear of second placed Grange 5s. The team has scored 35 goals and conceded only 10, keeping seven clean sheets along the way! A blend of experienced 2s players and new youth players has provided a balanced squad hungry for success. In the cup we are in the quarter final, having knocked out Inverleith 2s in the last round and will be looking to make the semis when we play Clydesdale 2s on 8 March 2020.
The Men’s 3s have had mixed fortunes so far this season, with an influx of new players taking time to find their feet. A great run from November to January saw lots of goals and clean sheets!
With only five matches remaining this season, the 3s are confident they can retain their mid-table position and look forward to building on this going forward towards next season.
The Men’s Development team have had a great start to the season. Unfortunately, a couple of teams have withdrawn from the league, but those remaining are all about the same standard and there have been some good close matches. We’ve so far played 6 games, of which we’ve won four and drawn one; unfortunately, we had to concede two matches. There have been a lot of S3 boys who are playing men’s matches for the first time and have adapted really well; a lot of them have also had outings for the 3s. The team’s a good blend of seasoned professionals and enthusiastic youth, but how a goalkeeper is our top scorer I haven’t managed to work out!
The first half of the season has been very successful for the Ladies’ 1s. With lot of new recruits, players coming back from injury and from becoming new mums, it was a great opportunity to try new approaches and tactics. We have had some really exciting games, lots of wins, some hard fought loses, but most importantly we’ve really enjoyed our hockey. We are currently sitting second in National League 2 having won six, drawn one and lost two. The highlight of our season so far was a thrilling East Fettes Avenue double header derby where we payed Inverleith 1s in both a league game and Scottish Cup game in the one weekend. It was certainly one of our toughest games with Inverleith proving challenging opponents but we linked together really well as a team and came out as convincing victors of both games! This saw us through to the Quarter final of the Scottish Cup where we are soon to face fellow National 2 team Uddingston on 8 March 2020. We are all really looking forward to seeing what the second half of the season brings, aiming for staying at the top of the table, promotion play offs and a spot in the Scottish Cup semi final! A big thank you to everyone that has helped us so far including umpires, supporters and particularly our coach Steve.
The Ladies’ 2s returned to the Championship League confident of representing themselves well. Indeed, they kicked off with a 6-1 win against Strathclyde University, and grafted to only lose one game, to Glasgow University before the break. They worked hard to finish off 2019 with a 2-0 win against league leaders Stirling Wanderers and ended second in the table, one point off the top.
In the Scottish Plate, a lively game against their league competitors Perthshire Ladies resulted in a 2-2 draw, so was followed by penally flicks. ESM finished these off with confidence, and will move into the next round, at the start of March.
As we enter the business end of the league, the Ladies’ 2s are hoping to consolidate their position and are poised to keep the strong results coming.
Having just been promoted into East 1, the Ladies’ 3s knew we were in for a trickier season.
We have been fortunate to have another great influx of players, including ladies coming back after injury, after having children and some fantastic ESM youth players coming up into the adult leagues. Some weeks we even had to ask for volunteers to miss games!
With new coaches* Stuart and Jamie at the helm, we set sail into the stormy seas. We have been challenged by some skilled and experienced sides, exposing our weaknesses, however a positive mental attitude has seen us take this feedback and work on it in training.
We pride ourselves on being a community, with many of our players finding this year to be a tricky one outside of hockey, we have rallied together and made sure that our mental health is a priority. This attitude, on and off the pitch, is what has kept our heads up during what has so far proved to be a difficult season. We are a strong willed and competitive team and are determined to prove our place in this league.
*Many thanks also to Rob Bravesmith who coached us for the beginning of our season.