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Weekend Review – 23rd/24th March

A big weekend as fixtures still to be completed – mainly from last week – to take place for our Clydesdale & Clydesdale Western teams.

Saturday 23rd March – M1s vs. Watsonians 1s (1.00pm, A)

Sunday 24th March – M1s vs. Grange 1s (1.30pm, A)

Clydesdale Men’s 1st XI head in to a crunch weekend of Men’s National Division One fixtures with back-to-back visits to Edinburgh in which they will play Watsonians and Grange.

‘Dale were due to play Grange last Saturday, but saw the clash being postponed due to the snowy conditions that took place. Before the two sides meet, the M1s will play on Saturday against Watsonians at Peffermill from 1.00pm. Then on the Sunday, Clydesdale and Grange will lock horns from 1.30pm at Fettes College.

The M1s are in a five team battle to finish in a top four spot in MNL 1, with Uddingston in the box seat courtesy of a better goal difference than the next highest placed team in Hillhead. Clydesdale and Edinburgh University are two points behind, with the latter sitting higher also due to a better goal difference. Watsonians are a further two points behind in eighth place. The last time the M1s played Watsonians was back in November – the Edinburgh side produced a stunning response to a halftime goal deficit to win 5-1 at Titwood. Clydesdale will then face Grange the following day, with the champions needing a point to seal the league crown for the second season running.

Ciaran Crawford welcomes back the return of Ewan Fraser to a squad who will not have much margin for error given how many games are remaining in the season

Saturday 23rd March – L1s vs. Watsonians 1s (3.30pm, H)

Sunday 24th March – L1s vs. Grange EL 1s (3.00pm, A)

Clydesdale Western 1st XI will be hopeful of results going their way heading into this weekend’s fixtures against Watsonians and Grange EL respectively.

Tuesday night’s 4-1 win away to Grove Menzieshill moved ‘Dale Western up to second in Women’s National Division One, leaving them two points off league leaders Edinburgh University. The L1s will require a favour from elsewhere but must also win their remaining games starting with a home fixture on Saturday against Watsonians. The last time the two teams played, Clydesdale Western sealed a 3-1 away win. ‘Dale Western will then face Grange EL the following day at Fettes College from 3.00pm. The fixture was originally scheduled for last Saturday but, like the M1s, was postponed due to the weather conditions.

The L1s will hopefully be boosted with the inclusion of Jen Eadie to the weekend’s squad, who returns following a wrist injury which had left her on the sidelines prior to the weekend.

M2s vs. Inverleith 2s (1.30pm, A); M3s vs. Hillhead 3s (12.00 noon, A); M4s vs. Giffnock 2s (7.15pm, A – Wednesday); M5s vs. Oban 1s (2.00pm, A)

L2s vs. Stirling University 1s (12.30pm, A); L3s vs. Grove Menzieshill 2s (2.00pm, H); L4s vs. Troon 1s (1.00pm, A); L4s vs. Western Wildcats 2s (1.30pm, A – Sunday); L5s vs. Uddingston 2s (1.00pm, A); L6s vs. Troon 2s (2.30pm, A)

Ten more games are taking place for Clydesdale and Clydesdale Western teams, with the latest being on Wednesday night.

The M2s will play their penultimate game of the Men’s Regional Division One season away to Inverleith 2s from 1.30pm. The M3s will have a tricky test when they play Men’s West District Division 1A league leaders Hillhead 3s at Old Anniesland from noon. The M5s complete Saturday’s men’s fixtures with an away trip to Helensburgh where they play Oban 1s, 2.00pm PB. The M4s have a Wednesday night fixture at Eastwood High School to play Giffnock 2s from 7.15pm.

The L4s have a double header of games, starting with Troon 1s away at 1.00pm on Saturday, before playing Western Wildcats 2s on Sunday from 1.30pm. The L6s will be at the same venue as the L4s on Saturday and will play immediately after them at 2.30pm – with the opposition being Troon 2s. The L3s are at home to Grove Menzieshill 2s in Women’s Championship Division One from 2.00pm, whilst the L2s in the same league play away to Stirling University 1s at 12.30pm. The L5s are also away to face Uddingston 2s from 1.00pm.

Photo credit: Rhona Weir

L1s win keeps WNL 1 title hopes alive – Weekend Review – 16th March

Before we review the games that took place from Saturday up to Tuesday night, there were postponements on Saturday for the M1s, M3s, M4s, L1s and the L6s. The M5s and L5s were beneficiaries of concessions, giving them three points despite no play.  All home games on Saturday were kept on thanks to the hard work of chairman Donald Amour, pitch convenor Karl Richmond, Men’s 1s coach Ciaran Crawford, Euan Lindsay, David Nairn and Struan Walker who cleared the pitch prior to pushback on Saturday.

Many thanks to (L-R), Struan Walker, pitch convenor Karl Richmond, Men’s 1s coach Ciaran Crawford, Euan Lindsay, David Nairn and chairman Donald Amour for braving horrible conditions to keep Saturday’s home games from being cancelled.

L1s 4-1 Grove Menzieshill 1s (F Lonergan, M Steiger, L Sabatelli, H Howie)

Clydesdale Western 1st XI kept up with the leading pack in Women’s National Division One and maintained their hopes of becoming champions at the end of the season following a dominant win away to Grove Menzieshill on Tuesday night.

‘Dale Western are in need of dropped points from the teams around them, as well as winning all of their own remaining league games. The L1s game with Grange EL on Saturday was postponed due to weather, meaning they had to wait until Tuesday night to play their first game since their home draw with Glasgow University.

In the game against Grove, Clydesdale Western began the game well applying a lot of pressure to the home side. But the final pass was lacking to force any clear cut chances. But when that pass did connect, it won a penalty corner which was converted emphatically by interim captain Frances Lonergan. The home side hit back shortly after, however, scoring through a penalty corner routine of their own to level the scores going in at half time.

The second period saw more of an open feel, with both sides having chances to take the lead. And crucially, it was ‘Dale Western who saw Millie Steiger in composed form to round the Menzieshill goalkeeper and tap in to an empty goal. The away side then scored the important third after good skills from Lexi Sabatelli saw her enter the circle and fire a shot into the net for 3-1. The L1s made sure of the points when Bronwyn Shields found space in the circle to selflessly set up Heather Howie for a simple finish. The three points sees Clydesdale Western jump up to second in WNL 1, two points behind leaders Edinburgh University with three games to go.

M2s 1-3 Grange 2s (C Crawford)

Clydesdale Men’s 2s suffered a home defeat to Grange 2s in an entertaining Men’s Regional Division One clash at Titwood on Saturday.

Both sides started the game at a quick pace, and had chances to score. Most notably for Clydesdale 2s, it was Ciaran Crawford who saw a drag flick corner crash the woodwork and David Henderson being denied by the Grange 2s ‘keeper. Equally, the M2s ‘keeper Gordon Clark made some super saves and clearances but had no chance in keeping out Grange 2s opener five minutes before half time. A penalty corner being converted by ex-Clydesdale player, Ben Docherty.

The second half brought more consistent pressure from the home side, culminating in a few awarded penalty corners, namely won by youngster Ian King. Crawford was denied in the first, but was not to be stopped for the second corner which, despite the best efforts of the goal-line defender, crept over the line. The M2s stepped up, but left too much space at the back ten minutes after the equaliser, which opened up a counter attack for Grange 2s, converted in the scrappiest of manners at the back post. The away side converted another penalty corner moments after and despite the home side’s best attempts, the M2s could not force another goal. The 3-1 loss keeps Clydesdale 2s ninth in Men’s Regional Division One.

L2s 2-0 L3s (R McGregor, N Harkness)

Clydesdale Western 2nd XI scored a goal in each half to see off the 3rd XI in a heated battle at Titwood in a late Saturday passback in Women’s Championship Division One.

The L3s started the game well, and were perhaps unlucky not have scored in the opening ten minutes via a penalty corner that was miraculously saved on the line by the L2s defence. And it proved to be crucial as minutes later, the L2s broke away through Annabelle Ballantyne, who squared the ball for fellow forward Rhona McGregor to slam home a tap in. Despite the opening goal, it failed to separate both sides who created chances but were unable to take them. The L3s were again unlucky not to score, after Ruth Bowie had rounded Mairi Fletcher with the seemingly simple task of squaring proceedings. L2s captain Lesley Cosh made the latest of last ditch tackles to stop the L3s forward scoring, but in doing so sadly saw a serious looking injury for Bowie in the aftermath of the challenge.

Both sides started the second half in similar fashion to how it finished. The L3s did their best to fashion chances through Gill Green and Rachel Whittle, whilst Lucy Arnold was denied following a stunning save from L3s goalkeeper Cara McAllister. McAllister was eventually beaten moments later when Naomi Harkness picked up a loose ball to reverse high and effectively kill the contest. Green had another penalty corner chance at the end but found Fletcher equal to it as the L2s saw out the remainder of the game.

L4s 1-4 Hillhead 3s (A Winter); Monday – L5s 1-1 Garnock 1s (K Meikle)

In the two Women’s West District games that took place over the weekend, saw the L4s lose at home to Hillhead 3s.

Anna Winter kept up her impressive form which has seen her move up to the L4s by scoring a goal, which ultimately proved to be a consolation in a 4-1 home loss to Hillhead 3s. The defeat keeps the L4s fifth in Women’s West District Division One.

The L5s took a point in their Monday night clash with Garnock 1s at Titwood. Katrina Meikle scored for the L5s to also keep them fifth in Women’s West District Division Two following their awarded concession from Saturday.

Photo credit: Andy Lovat

L1s aim to close gap at top of WNL 1 – Clydesdale Western vs. Grove Menzieshill – 19th March

L1s vs. Grove Menzieshill 1s (8.00pm, A)

Clydesdale Western 1st XI have the chance to close the gap at the top of Women’s National Division One when they visit Dundee International Sports Centre (DISC) to take on Grove Menzieshill 1s.

‘Dale Western were meant to play Menzieshill in the first weekend of the outdoor return back in February, but were given dispensation by Scottish Hockey due to their European indoor involvement.

Clydesdale Western and Grove Menzieshill will meet again in a fixture that has been so prominent in Scottish Hockey history – as seen in the 2017 National Play-Off Semi Final at Old Anniesland. (Photo credit: Andy Lovat)

At that point of the season, the L1s had led the table by goal difference. A couple of more positive results their way saw Clydesdale Western open up a lead of three points, which almost became six but were halted by a narrow defeat to champions Edinburgh University. Despite that defeat, league fate was still in the L1s hands until their shock 1-1 draw with Glasgow University two weeks ago. Including that result and the postponement of most WNL 1 fixtures last Saturday, ‘Dale Western now sit fourth in the league, but hold a game in hand on their rivals. At the moment, the L1s sit five points behind league leaders Edinburgh Uni, three off Western Wildcats – who are second following their 5-0 win over GHK on Saturday – and two points from Dundee Wanderers.

Clydesdale Western are now fourth in WNL 1 following Western Wildcats win on Saturday. But the L1s have two games in hand, starting with Tuesday’s clash against Grove.

For Tuesday night’s clash, the L1s call in Naomi Harkness, who featured prominently in the L2s win on Saturday against the L3s. But, coach Derek Forsyth will be without Jen Eadie, who remains sidelined with a wrist injury, Karin Belch and Millie Brown from his squad. The last time the two sides met, was back in late October after goals from Emma McGregor, Heather Howie and Lexi Sabatelli gave Clydesdale Western a 3-1 home win.

Heather Howie (pictured number 15) scored in the last meeting between Clydesdale Western and Grove Menzieshill in October – the L1s secured a 3-1 win. (Photo credit: Andy Lovat)

Photo credit: Andy Lovat

Weekend Preview – 16th March

Ten teams in action on Saturday, and as we draw closer to the end of the season, the games are becoming more and more important especially for our M1s and L1s.

M1s vs. Grange 1s (11.00am, A)

Clydesdale Men’s 1s hopes of reaching a top four spot in Men’s National Division One still remain alive, but will be put to the test when they take on league champions Grange in an early passback at Fettes College.

The M1s are hoping to bounce back from two straight defeats to Edinburgh University and Uddingston, which has now left them seventh in MNL 1, two points off fourth spot. Grange, on the other hand, know a win and a Western Wildcats loss could put them on the verge of sealing the league crown for a second season running. The last time the two sides met was in Clydesdale’s first home match of the season, which finished 1-1 after Struan Walker equalised late on.

Head Coach Ciaran Crawford has a full strength squad to call on, which includes the returns of Aidan Black and Sam Hayes to the ‘Dale team.

L1s vs. Grange EL 1s (12.30pm, A)

Clydesdale Western require a series of results go their way if they are to return to the top of Women’s National Division One when they play Grange EL from 12.30pm.

‘Dale Western’s league title fate is currently out of their hands following their 1-1 draw with Glasgow University last week, which league leaders Edinburgh University took full advantage of by thrashing Grange EL 9-0. Dundee Wanderers win over Western Wildcats also threw themselves into the mix to jump into second place. The L1s would require to beat Grange EL coupled with a Wanderers win against Edinburgh Uni to regain their fate. A draw between Clydesdale Western’s title rivals may also suffice, but could then open up a goal difference battle. The last meeting between ‘Dale Western and Grange EL was back in September, finishing 5-0 to the L1s.

A full squad, bar Jenny Eadie (wrist injury) and Karin Belch, is available for coach Derek Forsyth in their match at Fettes College.

M2s vs. Grange 2s (2.30pm, H); M3s vs. Dumfries 1s (2.15pm, A); M4s vs. Uddingston 4s (1.30pm, A)

L2s vs. L3s (5.30pm, H); L4s vs. Hillhead 3s (4.00pm, H); L5s vs. Stepps 1s (1.00pm, H); L5s vs. Garnock 1s (7.45pm, H – Monday); L6s vs. Stepps 2s (TBC, A)

The M2s know a point will guarantee safety from automatic relegation in Men’s Regional Division One on Saturday, whilst the L2s and L3s lock horns for the second time this season.

Quite a few games take place at Titwood, which begins with the L5s against Stepps 1s from 1.00pm in Women’s West District Division Two. The L5s are also in action on Monday night, when they play their rearranged fixture with Garnock 1s at home, 7.45pm PB. Two wins from two could take the L5s up to fifth in WWD 2.

Back to Saturday – from 2.30pm at Titwood, the M2s take on Grange 2s in Men’s Regional Division One. Seven points from a possible twelve have left the M2s in a position knowing that anything better than a loss on Saturday will confirm safety from automatic relegation. At 4.00pm, the L4s are up against Hillhead 3s in Women’s West District Division Two, before the L2s and L3s face off in Women’s Championship Division One at 5.30pm.

The M3s are away to Dumfries for a 2.15pm PB in Men’s West District Division One, whilst the M4s play Uddingston 4s at Bothwell Castle Policies in Division Two from 1.30pm. The L6s are the third and final team away at Glasgow to take on Stepps 3s from 1.30pm.

Photo credit: Rhona Weir

Double Disappointment for L1s & M1s – Weekend Review – 9th March

L1s 1-1 Glasgow University 1s (A Eadie)

Clydesdale Western 1st XI’s hopes of winning the Women’s National Division One title took a damaging blow after a surprise draw at Titwood to lowly Glasgow University.

Defeat the previous Saturday to current champions Edinburgh University opened up a league race for WNL 1 glory. But ‘Dale Western were arguably slight favourites with a game in hand and a marginally better goal difference. You would have also been forgiven for thinking that the L1s were huge favourites for their fixture against Glasgow Uni – particularly given the last meeting that finished 10-0 to Clydesdale Western.

And despite a dominant performance from the home side, it was GU who took a shock lead into the second half. The students continued to frustrate ‘Dale Western who peppered the GU goal with shots and penalty corner opportunities. One was eventually taken when Ali Eadie scored close range following her injection responsibilities. It set up a grand stand finish, but Glasgow Uni held firm to take a share of the points.

The result leaves the L1s five points off top spot in third with a game in hand, meaning their fate is currently out of their hands. Edinburgh Uni maintain pole position in WNL 1 with a 9-0 hammering of Grange EL, whilst Dundee Wanderers are three points behind after they threw themselves into the race following a massive 2-1 win against fellow challengers, Western Wildcats.

M1s 0-4 Uddingston 1s

Match sponsor – J McNally Limited Chartered Certified Accountants

Clydesdale Men’s 1st XI suffered their fifth home defeat of the season following a brutally clinical display by Uddingston in a late passback at Titwood on Saturday.

Going into the game, either side had the opportunity to go fourth in Men’s National Division One after fellow top four hopefuls Hillhead and Edinburgh University both lost earlier in the day.

But it was the South Lanarkshire opponents who took all three points after a showing of excellent finishing. Goal one came in the first half after an excellent finish into the top corner by Uddingston forward Chris Boyle. Steven Percy added a penalty corner in the second half, before Brad Hughes scored a sublime one touch finish following a breakaway. Jonjo Lavin added a fourth late on for Uddy after his cutback was inadvertently deflected in by ‘Dale defender Andrew Allan.

The result sees Clydesdale drop to seventh, with Uddingston overtaking them, Hillhead and Edinburgh University to go into the top four spots. The gap between fourth and seventh place is only two points in MNL 1.

M2s 2-2 Watsonians 2s (S Lindsay, D Henderson); M4s 0-1 Kelburne 4s; M5s 0-7 Uddingston 5s

L2s 2-0 Haddington 1s (H MacDonald, R McGregor); L4s 2-5 GHK 2s (El Murray (2)); L5s 1-0 Loch Lomond 1s (Z Monaghan); L6s 1-5 East Kilbride 2s (R Brown)

The only wins of the day for Clydesdale & Clydesdale Western teams belonged to the L2s and L5s.

A depleted L2s squad took home all three points in their visit to Haddington 1s. A goal from Hannah MacDonald and an excellent finish in to the top corner from Rhona McGregor gave their side a 2-0 away win in Women’s Championship Division One. The L5s hopes of a top half finish in their first season in Women’s West District Division Two remain alive following a hard fought 1-0 win at home to Loch Lomond 1s – Zoe Monaghan scoring the all important goal. Despite a brace from veteran Ellen Murray, the L4s went down 5-2 in their away fixture to GHK 2s in Women’s West District Division One. The L6s 5-1 loss to East Kilbride 2s sadly confirmed their relegation to Women’s West District Division Four for next season.

The M4s and M5s suffered defeat again despite improved performances from last weekend. The M5s and Uddingston 5s both played out an extremely competitive game in good spirit. But the telling factor was that the M5s were without an official goalkeeper which proved to be crucial as Uddy 5s ran out 7-0 winners. The M4s were closer to a result but sadly went down 1-0 at home to Kelburne 4s. The M2s missed out on the chance of all three points in their Men’s Regional Division One clash away to Watsonians 2s after conceding a late equaliser. Watsonians 2s took the lead from a counter attack, but the M2s hit back. Scott Lindsay converted a penalty flick, before setting up David Henderson for a snap short to take a 2-1 half time lead. The away side were guilty of missed chances throughout the second half and their lack of ball retention saw them concede with minutes to go despite the home side being temporarily down to nine players. Watsonians 2s almost won the game towards the end, but missed a penalty corner opportunity to give an equal share of the spoils.

Photo credit: Mark Pugh