There was no change to the pecking order in Men’s Indoor National League 1 as Western Wildcats are still ahead by three points from Grove Menzieshill and Inverleith who share second spot on 16 points with the former having the advantage of two goals. However, Watsonians confirmed their fourth place status with back to back wins and join the top tier for the next stage in the competition.
What better way to start the day of indoor hockey on Tayside than the Dundee derby between Wanderers and Grove Menzieshill?
It was Grove Menzieshill who took the honours with a 5-1 win to keep up their interest at the top of the table. The `Hill went ahead in only five minutes through Luke Cranney at a penalty corner and towards the end of the half Messrs Donnelly, Bonnar and Ross had advanced the tally to four without reply – game over, perhaps.
It certainly was when Cranney again scored at a penalty corner midway through the second half for 5-0, although Bobby Ralph managed a consolation strike.
Watsonians were moving ever closer to a top four place with a 2-0 win over bottom side Clydesdale. And again it was Dan Coultas who proved to be the catalyst, he scored both goals, the first from open play with the other coming from a penalty corner.
League leaders Western Wildcats cemented their pole position with a 12-2 mauling of Dunfermline Carnegie…but the first half was a more contested affair. In fact, it was the Fifers who took an early lead through Jack Tweedle but that soon evaporated under a quick-fire hat-trick from Fraser Moran. Stuart Eadie pulled one back for Carnegie but before the break Andrew McConnell had restored Western`s two goal lead.
But the Wildcats showed their claws in the second half with eight goals without reply, the highlight was a hat-trick from Jamie Golden, Moran scored his fourth of the game, McConnell got another and the rest came from Rob Harwood, Andrew McAllister and Hamish Galt.
The heavy defeat meant that Carnegie slipped to bottom spot on goal difference from Clydesdale
So at the end of the penultimate league games there is no change at the top with Wildcats three points ahead of Grove Menzieshill and Inverleith who are now only separated by a single goal. However, the defeat of both Wanderers and Grange has ensured that Watsonians will play in the forthcoming top four competition for a place in the Gala Final.
And so to the second half of the day. Grove Menzieshill retained their second spot in the table with another 5-1 win, this time over Clydesdale. Liam King scored for the Titwood side in the first minute but by the interval the Taysiders were 3-1 in front through Luke Cranney, C Chapman and Gavin Byers. Two further goals were added in the second half, Cranney again and Michael Ross.
Western had almost a carbon copy of their opening game – this time it was 12-3 against Dundee Wanderers. And again it was only 4-2 at the break. A spot conversion from Andrew McConnell, Rob Harwood and Jamie Golden put the Wildcats three up, Wanderers responded through Calum Ross and Kennedy Gibb, but Wildcats added a fourth with a penalty corner conversion by Fraser Moran.
But, as last time, the second half belonged to the Wildcats, inside six minutes Golden, a couple by McConnell, Harwood and Hamish Galt had advanced the score to double figures. Then late on Harwood and Galt scored again for the dozen. In conclusion Gibb got a late consolation for the Wanderers.
Watsonians continued their impressive run with a 5-2 win over Grange. After a goalless first half Gordon Amour put the latter in front, then Victor Rosenberg and Ben Scott made it 2-1 for Watsonians before Aidan McQuade levelled at 2-2. But then up stepped Dan Coultas again, in the final four minutes he scored from the spot and another two from open play for a belated hat-trick and a 5-2 win.
Inverleith remain in third spot – on the same points as Grove Menzieshill but behind by a couple of goals after a 2-0 win over Dunfermline Carnegie, the goals came in the first half through Kyle Taylor and Charlie Jack at a penalty corner.
Clydesdale started the lower group competition by coming off the foot of the table in a 4-2 win over Dundee Wanderers. Bobby Ralph put the Dundonians ahead in the first half – and that was the only goal going into the interval. Then up stepped Clydesdale`s Cameron Moran with three goals in as many minutes to put his side into a 3-1 lead. Ben Moulson made it 4-1 before Sean Dowie scored from the spot in the final minute, but too late to alter the result.
In the final match of the day Dunfermline Carnegie and Grange fought out a 5-5 draw. A double from Aidan McQuade and another from Jack Nairn for Grange offset by goals from Dunfermline`s Joshua Love and Gary Clark gave Grange a 3-2 interval lead.
But it was the Fifers who won the second half 3-2 through two from Stuart Eadie and a spot conversion by Andrew Doyle with McQuade and Nairn again scoring for Grange – in the end the game ended 5-5.