Mention Freuchie in a national sporting context and many will instantly say cricket, a reference to 1985 when the village team from Fife, captained by David Christie, triumphed over a team from Surrey in the National Village Championship at Lord’s, known as the Home of Cricket, in 1985.
The stunning success for a team from the North East Fife village – current population 1,250 – captured the imagination of Scots throughout the world, and catapulted the club into the national media headlines.
Now, another athlete from the village, whose name derives from the Gaelic, fraoch, meaning heather, is making her mark at international level and Katie Robertson (pictured in yellow bib ahead of team-mate Amy Costello at Scotland training by Nigel Duncan) has recently excelled as a playmaker for Scotland at hockey.
She now aims to bring that creative talent into Sunday’s Scottish Cup final clash with double-chasing Watsonians at The Peffermill Playing Fields (push back 4pm).
The University of Edinburgh star would love to regain the trophy the students proudly held pre-COVID, and it would set the students up for their trip to the EuroHockey Club Challenge II in Turkey, from June 3 to 6. They are in Pool B while Glasgow-based Clydesdale Western are in Pool A in the Alanya-based competition, but the focus currently is firmly fixed on Sunday for the Dollar Academy PE teacher.
The students, coached by former Scottish international, Sam Judge, have not beaten the newly-crowned Premiership winners in matches so far this term, losing the first game 3-0 in mid-November, the second 4-2 in mid-March and drawing the third 2-2 at the end of April, but Robertson said the students came within minutes of winning in the final league meeting.
Edinburgh University actually finished in third place, eight points Watsonians in the league, after 21 games. Watsonians won 19 games, drew one and lost one while the students won 16, drew two and lost three. They scored 97 goals and let in 16 while Watsonians scored 100 and shipped 12.
Robertson, who went to Kilgraston School near Bridge of Earn in Perthshire hopes to play her part in making the showpiece game memorable for those who attend Edinburgh’s Peffermill on Sunday and others watching on livestream, and she desperately wants to be holding the silverware at the final whistle.
The 25-year-old said: “The final features two Edinburgh clubs who are first and second in the league and who play good hockey. We’ve played Watsonians three teams and each time we have been disappointed.
“We lost the first game but in the second we created a lot of chances and the third game we drew. Now we have Great Britain squad player Amy (Costello) who who has made a real difference with good outlet ball, intelligent defence. She is also good at corners.”
Robertson added: “Watsonians are undoubtedly the team to beat, and we have to give them respect for what they have achieved, however, in the last game we played against them we were ahead until the last five or ten minutes. We ended up with a draw.
“The pressure is on them as they won the league and are looking to add the Scottish Cup, but we also want to with the silverware ahead of our trip to Turkey for the Europeans.”
Victory in Scotland’s capital would turn the sporting spotlight on The University of Edinburgh, and back on one emerging sportswoman from Freuchie.