Scotland: No real change at the top of the Premierships

Top sides, Grange and Edinburgh University in the men`s Premiership along with Watsonians and Wester Wildcats in the women`s, were convincing winners and hold on to top spots.

Grange stretched their unbeaten run to six games with a 3-1 win at Grove Menzieshill and thereby retained their pole position in the table.

But the Premiership holders were taken aback when the Taysiders took the lead through Paul Martin on a counter-attack. However, by the interval normal service was resumed, Robbie Croll equalised with a direct shot at a penalty corner and soon after Aidan McQuade put the Edinburgh side 2-1 ahead from the spot. The only goal of the second half came from former Clydesdale player Jamie Green to seal the points for the holders.

At the end of the game Grange manager Martin Shepherdson said: “We are pleased with the result but we missed several chances. I`m waiting for the day when we can convert our chances into goals – that would make a huge difference.”

Photo by David McCarthy

Edinburgh University are close on Grange`s heels, three points behind with a game in hand after beating ESM 6-0 at Peffermill. There were two goals for Alex Wilson while Sam Hunt, Hamish Imrie, Keir Robb and Tom Cahalin got the others.

Western Wildcats are a few games behind but kept in touch with a 5-1 home win over Dundee Wanderers. Rob Harwood, who spent most of the summer playing in the Australian league, pitched in with a couple with Fraser Calder, Jonny Christie and Jack McKenzie also found the net.

Perhaps the game of the day was in Edinburgh where Inverleith and Clydesdale fought out a 4-4 draw to keep them both in mid-table. Charlie Jack scored twice for Inverleith with Jack Henderson and Hamish Norval getting the others while Clydesdale`s scorers were Sam Hayes, Andrew Allan, Ethan Robertson and Andrew McAllan.

Inverleith`s captain Kyle Taylor said: “It was annoying to concede with the last touch of the ball, the boys put in a massive shift with quite a few injuries in the squad. The performances are there so hopefully these draws will turn into wins.”

Watsonians returned to winning ways after several disappointments when under-18 player Keir Urquhart scored at an overtime penalty corner to secure a 3-2 win over Uddingston. Earlier in the contest Dan Coultas had opened with a penalty corner strike and Jack Cahalin followed up with a shot from a narrow angle in open play. Penalty corners provided Uddingston`s goals from Jedd Campbell and Steven Mackenzie.

At the other end of the table Hillhead moved up several places after a 4-2 win at Kelburne. The home side took an early lead through Connor Bain after some issues in the Hillhead defence. But a penalty corner conversion by Andrew Sinclair drew Hillhead level before the end of the first quarter.

Hillhead pressed in the second quarter and were rewarded with a penalty corner strike by Graeme Campbell, and then Andrew Black put them 3-1 ahead at a counter-attack when he converted a square pass from Matt Carder.

After the interval Kelburne pulled one back at a penalty corner deflection by Martin McIntosh. Hillhead then had a spate of chances and finally Sinclair secured the points with another penalty corner conversion.

A hat-trick by Scotland striker Sarah Jamieson was the catalyst behind Watsonians 6-0 win at Glasgow University. The other scorers were Emily Dark in the first half followed by Katie MacCallum and Ailsa Small.

Wildcats kept in touch at the top with a 10-0 win at Gordonians – on the same points as Watsonians but have made up four goals. There was a procession of goals throughout each quarter, but the highlight was a hat-trick for Emma McDiarmid. Elsewhere contributions were made by Jen Veitch, Lexi Sabatelli with a brace, Lucy MacMillan, Alex Stuart, Rachel Bain and Megan Cox.

Photo by David McCarthy

Edinburgh University returned to winning ways with a 1-0 win over GHK, the only goals of the game came in the fourth quarter from Jika Nyirenda.

But Grange moved back into third spot on goal difference from the Edinburgh students after a two goal win at St Andrews University, both goals came from Hanna McKie.

GHK captain Carly Bisset remarked: “It was a really close game – it definitely could have gone either way, and it was so disappointing not to get points. There were some great scoring opportunities for both teams, but on this occasion Uni were able to convert when we couldn`t.”

Clydesdale Western returned to the winning trail with a 3-0 win over Inverleith. The first half ended goalless, rather frustrating for Clydesdale as they had several chances although the Inverleith keeper was also a factor. Clydesdale were more aggressive in the second half and Ali Howie, Millie Steiger and Annabelle Bannatyne rattled in three goals.

On Sunday Western Wildcats moved to within three points of Edinburgh University in second spot following a 4-1 win over Clydesdale in a catch-up fixture at Titwood.

But it was the home side who took the early initiative with a penalty corner deflection by Euan Anderson However, Wildcats drew level by the interval through another penalty corner strike by Fraser Moran.

The second half belonged to the Wildcats, Moran scored two more for his hat-trick while Ian McFadden scored the other.

by Scotland Hockey

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