Inverleith have set the pace in this season`s indoor Men’s National League division 1 with three straight wins which puts them to the top of the table. Western Wildcats came to Dundee late in the day and came away with victories in their two games, they share second spot with Grove Menzieshill who have played a game more.
Dundee Wanderers opened this indoor season with a convincing 6-1 win over Dunfermline Carnegie, courtesy of a hat-trick by the everlasting Bobby Ralph. Strikes by Ralph and Sean Dowie gave the Taysiders a two goal cushion at the interval. Further goals were added in the second half, two by Ralph along with G Monks and Callum Ross while Andrew Doyle scored a consolation for the Fifers.
The clash between former champions Grove Menzieshill and Inverleith was billed as the game of the day, but it was hardly a feast of goals as it was the Edinburgh side that won by a single goal – such a paucity of goals is rather unusual in the indoor game.
The winner came in the eighth minute with a direct strike by Kyle Taylor at a penalty corner, and that was the beginning and end of the scoring.
But Inverleith coach Stuart Neave remarked: “This was a decent, well contested game between well matched teams. Grove Menzieshill put us under a lot of pressure in the final five minutes including four penalty corners, but we defended well and held out for the three points.”
In a ding-dong affair between Carnegie and newly promoted Clydesdale the Fifers emerged winners by 5-4, only confirmed when Stuart Eadie scored the winner with only three minutes left.
Then Grove Menzieshill recovered their composure to claim their first three points of the tournament with a comfortable 5-0 win over Watsonians, here there were two goals for Luke Cranney.
In the second phase of the competition Dundee Wanderers promised a lot after their opening victory, but failed to deliver against Inverleith going down 4-3. But it was far from plain sailing for the Edinburgh side as they found themselves a goal down when Sean Dowie converted from the spot. But by the interval Inverleith were 3-1 to the good with two penalty corner conversions from Kyle Taylor and an open play strike by Charlie Jack.
However, in the second half a double from Wanderers` Bobby Ralph brought the scores back to 3-3…and a big result in the offing perhaps. But no – Taylor scored the winner with nine minutes left from another penalty corner.
Clydesdale then picked up their first three points of the season with a 4-0 win over Grange, Andrew Allan, a double from Cameron Moran and Adam Docherty in the second half were the scorers.
In the final match of the day for both sides Grove Menzieshill recorded their second win with a 7-4 defeat of Dunfermline Carnegie. The Taysiders were three in front early doors with a double from Mike Ross and another from Ollie James, but by the interval the lead had been cut to 5-3. Dunfermline`s Stuart Eadie grabbed a quick-fire hat-trick while Grove Menzieshill`s Luke Cranney scored a double.
The second half also belonged to the Taysiders, Cranney got his hat-trick and Gavin Byers also scored while J Love replied for the Fifers.
And so, enter the champions Western Wildcats and they started the defence of their title with a 5-3 win over Watsonians. The Wildcats were three up at the interval through Rob Harwood, Fraser Moran and Adam Mackenzie.
But as the minutes ticked away in the second half Watsonians brought the score back to 4-3 with a double from Danny Cain and one by Duncan Riddell, Moran having scored another for Western. In the final throes of the contest Harwood finally clinched the points for the Wildcats with his second of the game.
Inverleith completed their hat-trick of wins on the day with an 11-4 defeat of Clydesdale, and the undoubted catalyst was eight goals from Keir Robb. To complete the tally Kyle Taylor scored from a penalty corner and Charlie Jack notched two from open play to round off the tally. Clydesdale`s replies came from a double by Joel Reid along with Cameron Moran and Adam Docherty.
Western Wildcats rounded off a busy day with a 6-2 win over Grange for their second three points. It was only 2-1 at the break, Fraser Moran and Nikki Homphray were on target for Wildcats with H Eddis getting Grange`s goal. Wildcats stepped it up in the second half with Moran completing his hat-trick, Rob Harwood and Andrew McConnell pitching in while Gordon Amour got a consolation for the Edinburgh side.