Dales university challenge

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Hockey’s Scottish Cup has come home to Titwood, after an absence of too many years.

Milne Craig Clydesdale Western came from behind against Edinburgh University to claim the women’s Arthur McKay Cup with a thrilling 5-4 victory over the students at Peffermill on Saturday.

International midfielder Nicki Skrastin’s reverse stick shot had enough momentum to cross the goal line to give the Glasgow girls the initial advantage.

But Edinburgh University stormed back.

A goal-line clearance by Clydesdale Western skipper Cat Ralph kept them at bay, but two goals inside three minutes gave the university team a 2-1 lead at the half-time interval.

Soon after the re-start, the students extended their lead to 3-1 and Western were facing another disappointing result.

But, just a minute later, Ralph blasted a penalty corner strike into the net to bring the Titwood team back into the game.

Skrastin narrowly missed an equalising goal, but that came when the Glasgow side were awarded a penalty stroke in the 48th minute, which Ralph dispatched to make it 3-3.

And the national league runners-up finally regained the lead when international striker Holly Cram connected with Ali Howie’s cross inside the circle to deflect the ball in for a 4-3 advantage.

The Clydesdale Western team were awarded another penalty stroke, converted by Susan McGilveray and, although Edinburgh University pulled one back when player-coach Sam Judge, a former Western player, made it 5-4, the winners might well have scored again when Ralph, the victorious 
skipper, was denied a hat-trick goal in the dying minutes.