Scotland: Watsonians and Clydesdale Western drift away from the rest of the pack in women`s indoor

A gap has opened up at the top of the Women`s Indoor National League 1 table, unbeaten Watsonians and Clydesdale Western are now six points ahead of third placed Dundee Wanderers and the rest of the pack. At the moment Wanderers and Edinburgh University are favourites to join them in the top four competition.

It was an early start for Wildcats and Clydesdale Western but it was the latter who chalked up their fourth consecutive victory with a solid 4-0 score. Player/coach Fiona Semple opened at a penalty corner in seven minutes, and Fran Lonergan added a second before the break. Clydesdale doubled their tally in the second half through Tamilla Matchett and Semple again in the final minute.

Third placed Dundee Wanderers had a strenuous day ahead with three games including Clydesdale and Watsonians but they started on a positive note with a 5-2 win over Hillhead. The Taysiders went two up through a penalty corner strike by Sam Sangster and then Ruth Cox but Rachel Osborne pulled one back with a penalty corner at the interval. Amy Snelle put Wanderers 3-1 but again Hillhead retaliated through Jenny Sinclair. However, the points were sealed with two goals in the final five minutes through Snelle and Cox again.

Watsonians also preserved their unbeaten record with a 4-1 win over Inverleith – but it took a long time to get their noses in front, 27 minutes to be precise when Amy Clark finally opened their account. Teenager Jess Garden added a second three minutes later but with four minutes left Inverleith`s Jennifer Veitch pulled one back. However, it did not initiate a comeback – Watsonians immediately fired in a quick couple through Sarah Jamieson and Emily Dark to secure the three points.

In their second outing of the day Wildcats secured their first point of the indoor season with a 4-4 draw with Edinburgh University, but the Cats may feel that they let the three points slip through their claws with a 4-1 lead with five minutes left. The Cats seemed in command of the situation, Mhairi McGregor opened to be followed by a hat-trick of penalty corners from Kate Holmes, Katie Brett got the students` only response. Edinburgh then stunned the Cats with three quick strikes from Sophie Hinds, a penalty corner from Jess Ross, and then Ross levelled from the spot in the final minute for a point each.

Dundee Wanderers’ unbeaten record was blown apart by leaders Clydesdale Western in a commanding 7-1 victory. Wanderers resistance was never given a chance, blown apart by a hat-trick by Millie Steiger in the opening eleven minutes. By half-time Clydesdale`s tally had advanced to five through Tamilla Matchett and Kayleigh Justice.

A double from Fiona Semple was the feature of the second half, although a Sam Sangster penalty corner strike gave the Taysiders a last minute consolation.

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Hillhead finally got off the mark with a 3-2 win over Edinburgh Hockey Club, leaving the latter at the foot of the table. The Glasgow side were 3-1 at the interval with goals from Olivia Robertson, Jenny Sinclair and Alex Burdon, Angie Davie replied for the Edinburgh side. Cheryl Valentine pulled one back early in the second half but there was no further scoring and Hillhead took their first three points.

Wildcats also pulled away from the bottom spot with another draw – this time 2-2 with Inverleith. Ironically, for the second time today the Cats relinquished a lead to finish with a share of the points. After a goalless first half the Cats scored twice in as many minutes through Olivia Finch and another penalty corner from Kate Holmes. But, just as three points loomed, two penalty corner conversions by Inverleith`s Jennifer Veitch sunk the Cats` aspirations.

Watsonians completed Wanderers misery with a 5-0 in their second match of the day. The Edinburgh side only broke the deadlock in the final minute prior to the interval through Emily Dark. But the champions piled in the goals after the break with Ellie Wilson, Sarah Jamieson, Bex Jones and Dark again on target.

The penultimate game between Edinburgh University and Hillhead was a pulsating contest that produced twelve goals in total. Penalty corner strikes by Jess Ross gave the students a two goal lead at the interval. However, eight minutes into the second half, the Glasgow side were 4-2 up, Olivia Robertson scored twice while Ciara Goddard and Alex Burdon were the others on target.

But then the tables turned big style, Edinburgh`s Jess Ross scored another two for a game total of four, Kirsten Murison also got two and the other goals came from Katie Swanson and Sophie Hinds for an 8-4 victory. The result pushed the Edinburgh students up to fourth ion the table.

In the final game of the day Scotland striker produced a remarkable piece of clinical finishing by Sarah Jamieson with eleven goals in Watsonians 18 goal victory over Edinburgh HC, a result that took them to the top of the table on goal difference from Clydesdale.


by Scotland Hockey

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