With Giffnock a weakened side after losing a handful of players over the summer to universities - Edinburgh University in particular - it's fair to say that on paper Glasgow Western should have walked this, but they didn't.
There's no question MCW were the dominant side, but they were closed down (in numbers!) by a Giffnock side that played so deep, that at times it looked like everyone had been given a defender's "remit" before the game. Meanwhile, Western counter punched this tactic by playing a lot of the game - especially in the second half - as high as possible, with one attacker standing on the PF spot and another standing on the baseline.
Giffnock had three breakaway chances, including a two on one in the first half that should have seen them at least get a shot on target, but the final ball just wasn't there for them on all three chances. With nine minutes left on the clock Western finally got that lead they'd been pushing mighty hard for, thanks to a Susan McGilveray penalty corner strike. And then three minutes later she did it again from a penalty corner set piece. So, two hard fought goals for the young MC Western side and a valuable three points. For Giffnock it was the return of Rhona Simpson and everything she brings to a hockey side. But the real Tour-de-Force yesterday was newly appointed coach, Kaz Marshall, who was absolutely outstanding through her gameplay and all round leadership. If she hadn't been there, the scoreline would have been a lot higher. Western undoubtedly made life hard for themselves in their quest to score goals, but Marshall put herself about like a one-woman-team and ensured life stayed hard from start to finish.