Wednesday the 13th of March saw the return of the Littlejohn and McHue & Porter Tournaments as Universities across Scotland met at St Andrews to battle it out the respective cups. The day turned out to be a great success with a total of 14 teams and 180+ players across the Men’s and Women’s competitions on the day.        


In the McHue and Porter, UHI topped the table in the group stage with 11 points after winning 5 games and drawing 1. It was then Glasgow who squeezed into second place after  winning 3 of their games, drawing 2 but suffering 1 loss. Both teams progressed straight into the semi finals, UHI meeting 3rd place Edinburgh and Glasgow facing 4th place St Andrews. The first semi saw 

Glasgow and St Andrews battle it out to decide the first finalist, with Glasgow coming out on Top. The game finished 0-0 in normal time, with nothing separating the teams it went straight to penalties. Both keepers were in fine form, saving the first 5 penalties. Finally, the deadlock was broken as Glasgow scored their 3rd and final penalty sending them through to the final. 


Up next was group toppers UHI facing Edinburgh, and similar to the first semi final both defences were on top. With the game finishing 0-0 we were off to a penalty decider again. Edinburgh scored their first penalty, and both teams then drew blank on the remaining 5 to see Edinburgh progress through to the final in similar tight fashion. 


This set up an exciting final between two fierce rivals, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The whistle blew and we were underway. Both teams exchanging blows but ultimately both defences were holding out, chances were limited and the first half came to an end. The second half followed suit, and it looked like a familiar story again with the game close to penalties. That is until Scarlett McNeil stepped up and slotted a late winner away to take the trophy back to Edinburgh. A great final which could have gone either way, it was definitely one to remember. 


In the Littlejohn, UHI again topped the group with an impressive display in their first Tournament. Winning 5 and drawing 1 as they scored 12 and conceded an impressive 0 along the way to gaining 11 points. Edinburgh came a close second with 10 points after winning 5 and losing 1 to the table toppers UHI. Strathclyde finished the day with 9 points and Glasgow with 6 points to close out the group in 3rd and 4th respectively. 


We were back into the semi final swing. Up first, 1st placed UHI taking on 3rd placed Strathclyde. The day was following along a similar theme, with the semi final finishing 0-0, both teams creating chances but both defences standing firm. A special mention to the Strathclyde keeper who dealt with all that came his way. We were heading for another Penalty shootout. Both keepers were left with no chance, as the first 5 penalties flew in. Unfortunately for Strathclyde, UHI keeper Lee Dunbar managed to keep out the final penalty to send his team through into the Final. 


Their opposition would be decided by the final semi final of the day, Edinburgh v Glasgow. It was a competitive game throughout, with both forward lines moving the ball around nicely on the then tricky surface. A goal either side of the half way enough to see Edinburgh through to the final. Both great finishes that would have given Edinburgh confidence moving into the final. 


The stage was set, UHI v Edinburgh in the decider. The game was end to end, both teams creating chances at will. UHI were edging the tie, which was evident when they took the lead a minute before half time. Euan MacCormick’s back hand strike flew past Edinburgh keeper Alexander MacNiven into the bottom corner, giving UHI the advantage moving into the break. The game did not let up after this, with both teams still running the defences riot. Edinburgh missing a few chances early in the second came back to haunt them as Archie Millar gathered the ball just outside the box, his swivel and turn caught Edinburgh by surprise as he proceeded to fire his backhand shot past MacNiven to double their lead late in the game. Edinburgh tried to respond but UHI held out to win the Littlejohn Trophy for the first time. 


Congratulations to both teams on their respective wins and to all the teams that attended for making it a day to remember for Student Shinty.