Hockey: Emily Dark goal wins win league and cup double for Watsonians

Royal Air Force reservist Emily Dark has lifted the lid on the stunning strike which shot down Edinburgh University to secure a first hockey Scottish Cup and Premiership double for Edinburgh side Watsonians.

By Nigel Duncan
Monday, 16th May 2022, 7:00 am

Dundee-born Dark, a fourth year physics student at St Andrews University, picked up the ball in her own 25 and said: “The ball was moving forward at such pace I decided to keep going with it.

“I reached the D and decided to take a shot and it ended up in the roof of the net.”

It was a goal fit to win any final and the Scottish international, whose parents own a fa rm in Fife, believes that the power in her shooting could come from helping on the land.

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Emily Dark, third from right, gets ready to celebrate. Picture: Nigel Duncan

Dark, a Reservist at 603 Squadron in Edinburgh, added: “It’s been an an amazing season. We had so many new people at the start of the season and every single girl has come to training and put an absolute shift in. That is exactly why we have won the double.”

She has travelled many miles from the Dundee area to win silverware and admitted: “We have a couple of girls [in the team] who come from the Dundee area and we share travel, and that is certainly helpful with late drives back home.

“The double win means absolutely everything. The University of Edinburgh have won so many titles. They are quality opposition.”

Lucy Camlin, one of Watsonians goalkeepers, was outstanding, particularly in the later stages, as the students desperately tried to claw their way back into the game and piled on the pressure in front of a packed stand at the Peffermill Playing Fields. Dark said: “She played amazingly well.”

Sarah Jamieson runs at the University defence. Picture by Nigel Duncan

The 21-year-old faces a busy summer. Dark is in the Scotland squad who have games against Wales in the next few weeks and, if she is selected for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July, she faces two weeks of games against some of the world’s top teams.”

The international squad also have the EuroHockey qualifers in France in late August.

Dark said: “I’ve just had my exams and I’m keeping my fingers cross that I get lots of summer hockey.”

Her goal will live in the memory and it came after Edinburgh University had forced four penalty corners which they failed to capitalise on.

Camlin came to the fore in the third and fourth quarters, denying the eager University players, but Watsonians were always dangerous on the breakaway, particularly with quicksilver Sarah Jamieson on the ball.

Her darting runs and superb hands cause problems and, if Watsonians turned the ball over Dark, Ellie Wilson and co at the back kept their cool. And, of course, there was Camlin, saving late-on from Jess Ross.

The desperate students withdrew their goalkeeper with less than three minutes left to have 11 outfield players and Camlin was in the spotlight again, low down at the near post.

Watsonians captain Bethan Mann admitted there was a lot of pressure as this was the first time the team had been in the Scottish Cup final and she added: "I think we were fairly confident going into the game given we had just won the league, but we knew that anything could happen and we worked really hard defensively.

"It was a really game but this has been an amazing season."