WEEK 4 | Sarah Beaney Cup
Shetland face the biggest match of their team’s existence on Sunday when they take on Garioch for a place in the Sarah Beaney Cup quarter-finals.
With the pool stages nearly at an end and clubs starting to find out whether they will progress to the Cup, Plate or Bowl knock-out stages the clash at Kellands Park in Inverurie is the one to look out for this weekend.
To date both sides have defeated Peterhead and Huntly with bonus points to sit on 10 points ahead of this pool decider.
Garioch will start as favourites given their experience in higher leagues and the fact that they have yet to concede a point in the pool stages, but Shetland are keen to test themselves and see how far they have come in their four or so years in existence.
The Shetland team were due to head off on their journey for this match on Friday afternoon and their coach Neil Murray said: “It is just great that the club are involved in a match like this.
“Over the last few years we have built up the section and have been playing in the North League which has been great, but the girls want more regular fixtures and also want to test themselves against better teams so to do that this weekend against Garioch will be great.
“We know that they will be favourites given that they played in Tennent’s National League One during 2018, but the team are a determined bunch who are always learning and they are certainly keen to give it a go and see how they get on.
“Two weeks ago we defeated Huntly 84-0 and the performance was much improved and I hope the girls take confidence from that into this Garioch test.”
Mark Cowie, the Garioch coach, said: “We are certainly not taking Shetland lightly, we know they train very hard and have been on the up over the last couple of years so the team are ready for a good game.
“We had 30 players at a training session recently and that shows that the women’s section at Garioch is really growing and seeing players who started out here before moving on like Sophie Anderson getting capped by Scotland and Charlotte Runcie being on the fringes of the international set-up inspires us.
“The girls are fully focused on Sunday’s game and really want to stay in the Cup when it reaches the knock-out stages so that we can play against some of the top teams in the country.”
There are three other matches on Sunday.
The most important of these in terms of progress in the Cup competition is Hamilton against reigning champions Hillhead/Jordanhill.
Whoever wins Pool 3 – which also includes Stewartry – will progress through to the last eight.
In Pool 1 Biggar are due to host Wigtownshire and in Pool 10 Greenock Wanderers take on Glasgow University.
On Saturday Stornoway are set to host Inverness Craig Dunain in Pool 9.
This weekend’s fixtures
|Pool 1||Sunday, March 24: Biggar v Wigtownshire 2pm|
|Pool 3||Sunday, March 24: Hamilton v Hillhead/Jordanhill 2pm|
|Pool 9||Saturday, March 23: Stornoway v Inverness Craig Dunain 2.30pm|
|Pool 10||Sunday, March 24: Greenock Wanderers v Glasgow University 2pm|
|Pool 11||Sunday, March 24:Garioch v Shetland 1pm|
Photo: Shetland v Huntly (green)
Photo credit: Kevin Jones