Category Archives: Club news

Clydesdale Western ready for second go at EuroHockey Club Challenge I

Clydesdale Western 1st XI are all set to go for their second season in EuroHockey Club Challenge I, with their first game taking place on Friday when they visit Lille, France.

Almost twelve months previous, ‘Dale Western narrowly missed out on promotion to EuroHockey Club Trophy after a late 1-0 loss to last season’s Club Challenge I hosts and fellow Women’s National Division One rivals Edinburgh University. The L1s will be aiming to right some wrongs when they head to Lille, with their first game taking place on Friday 19th April.

Clydesdale Western go into Pool A of Club Challenge I, where they will play HC Rotweiss Wittengen of Switzerland in their opening game from 1.30pm. Less than 24 hours later, the L1s will take on SK Slavia Prague (Czech Republic), before finishing off Pool A on the 21st April against Lithunian side, Gintra Strekte Uni HC – both of which are 12.15pm pushbacks.

The Clydesdale Western squad will be led by Head Coach Derek Forsyth, whilst Alexandra Wilson – last season’s captain for EuroHockey Club Challenge I – will be in the dugout as Team Manager. Amongst Forsyth’s squad includes eight Scotland capped players and many more youth capped at international level.

Millie Steiger (pictured left) and captain Frances Lonergan (pictured right) are two of the eight capped Scotland players at Senior level that will be part of the EuroHockey Club Challenge I squad. (Photo credit: Andy Lovat)

Frances Lonergan will continue captaincy duty for a squad that features two players who have yet to play this season for the 1st XI. Young goalkeeper Cara McAllister has been drafted in as understudy to regular number one Jessica Buchanan.

Goalkeeper Cara McAllister (pictured in the L1s vs. L3s Scottish Cup tie), will be involved but expected to be understudy to Jessica Buchanan. (Photo credit: Rhona Weir)

And with the absence of Heather Howie (broken arm) and Millie Brown (university commitments), Forsyth has also selected forward Annabel Ballantyne following good performances in the 2nd XI this season.

Clydesdale Western squad for EuroHockey Club Challenge I: Jessica Buchanan (goalkeeper), Cara McAllister (goalkeeper), Frances Lonergan (captain), Julie Lonergan, Anna Logan, Karin Belch, Anna Hoolaghan, Laura Mann, Bronwyn Shields, Alison Eadie, Jennifer Eadie, Millie Steiger, Georgia Smith, Lexi Sabatelli, Emma McGregor, Heather Lang, Naomi Harkness, Annabel Ballantyne

Clydesdale Western coaching staff for EuroHockey Club Challenge I: Derek Forsyth (Head Coach), Alexandra Wilson (Team Manager), Lauren Thurley (physiotherapist), Euan Brown (video analyst)

The club would like to wish the very best of luck to Clydesdale Western 1st XI in their European conquest this week. The club will post updates on our website and social media outlets with results and match reports for the L1s in EuroHockey Club Challenge I.

Photo credit: Ali Howie

Wildcats win stuns L1s in Play-Off Final – Weekend Review – 13th/14th April

Women’s Grand Play-Off Final – Glasgow National Hockey Centre

L1s 0-2 Western Wildcats 1s

Clydesdale Western 1st XI missed out on a place in Europe next season as their Women’s Grand Play-Off Final hoodoo continued after succumbing to defeat against Western Wildcats at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre on Saturday.

‘Dale Western conceded a goal in each half to lose the Final, which coincidentally was their third straight Play-Off Final loss. Opponents Western Wildcats produced a hardworking and clinical display to become the first team in Scottish Hockey history – including Men’s teams – to have won the Play-Offs despite finishing fourth in the league table.

The L1s were without the services of Karin Belch for the Final, but Laura Mann returned to the squad as a like for like replacement. The game itself proved to be even with both sides having plenty of the ball, but were unable to create any clear cut opportunities. And this was proving to continue until a defensive error from Clydesdale Western brought Wildcats’ first goal. An effective press just outside the L1s circle gained the Milngavie side possession, before Wildcats’ Heather Aitken picked up a pass and slid the ball under the onrushing Jessica Buchanan. Heather Lang was not far off from leveling matters with a diving deflection not long after but in truth it was Western Wildcats who looked more likely to score their second before the break with a combination of a hardworking defensive unit and an ambitious attacking display.

And the Cats got their second goal seven minutes into the second half when a Kate Holmes slap from a corner was deflected high by Megan Cox into the ‘Dale Western goal. On a few occasions after the goal number two, the L1s threatened through Emma McGregor and Millie Brown but found Western Wildcats difficult to break down. As the game went on, Wildcats were closer to a third goal but a series of defensive tackles and crucial saves from Buchanan kept ‘Dale Western in the contest. Wildcats went on to see the game out, however, and seal a famous victory, which means Clydesdale Western will miss out on Europe for next season. The L1s will now turn their attention to Lille, where they will be playing in this season’s EuroHockey Club Challenge I – starting on April 19.

M3s 2-5 Uddingston 2s – Sunday (A Bleach, C Oliver); M4s 2-3 Hillhead 5s (J Bradley, F Harrowell)

L4s 6-3 Dumfries 1s – Sunday (El Murray (2), W Justice, M Moulson, K Longmuir, A Allan)

Elsewhere, the L4s secured a third place finish in Women’s West District Division One in their final league game of the season.

Goals from Ellen Murray (two), Wendy Justice, Marnie Moulson, Karen Longmuir and Abbie Allan helped the L4ss to a 6-3 win on Sunday away to Dumfries 1s to lift them three places up in the league table.

The M3s, who also featured on Sunday, went down 5-2 at home to Uddingston 2s in Men’s West District Division 1A, despite a goal each from Ali Bleach and Conor Oliver. The M4s narrowly lost 3-2 in their Men’s West District Division Two clash with Hillhead 5s – Johnny Bradley and Foster Harrowell were on target for the M4s.

Photo credit: Andy Lovat

Clydesdale Western vs. Western Wildcats – Play-Off Final Preview – 13th /14th April

A huge weekend of hockey is fast approaching for Clydesdale Western 1s on Saturday, whilst the Men’s teams are fast approaching the end of the league campaign.

Women’s Grand Play-Off Final – Glasgow National Hockey Centre

Clydesdale Western 1s vs. Western Wildcats 1s (2.00pm)

Clydesdale Western 1st XI will enter their third consecutive Women’s Grand Play-Off Final – a 2.00pm passback on Saturday at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre – knowing that a win against opponents Western Wildcats will seal qualification for European competition hockey next season.

‘Dale Western edged out Dundee Wanderers with a 5-3 scoreline in last Saturday’s Semi Final at Titwood, whilst a 1-0 win was enough for Wildcats to see off Women’s National Division One champions Edinburgh University at Peffermill. With Uni already guaranteed a European spot due to their league title success two weeks ago, the winners of the Women’s Grand Play-Off Final will secure the second and final European spot for Scotland.

The L1s will be hopeful of securing a Play-Off win following back-to-back losses in their previous two Finals. Both losses were against Edinburgh University – including an agonising running penalty loss in last season’s Final. But with the league champions out of the running for Play-Off success, the door is open for either Clydesdale Western or Western Wildcats in Saturday’s showdown which will take play at Glasgow National Hockey Centre. The two sides have played twice in scheduled league fixtures, with the first contest being a 2-2 draw at Auchenhowie in the league season’s opening game before ‘Dale Western clinched a 2-1 win at Titwood in November.

For Saturday’s Final, Derek Forsyth welcomes back Laura Mann, who missed last weekend’s win against Dundee Wanderers. Heather Howie still remains out with a broken arm.

To attend Saturday’s Grand Final, tickets are now available to be purchased online. To buy your tickets in advance – with 50% of the funds going to Clydesdale & Clydesdale Western Hockey Club – please click here and follow the simple steps.

M3s vs. Uddingston 2s (Sunday – 12.15pm, H); M4s vs. Hillhead 5s (3.00pm, A); M5s vs. Ayr 2s (1.00pm, H)

L4s vs. Dumfries 1s (Sunday – 1.30pm, A)

The M3s and M4s play out their penultimate game of their respective league campaigns, whilst the M5s and L4s finish this weekend.

The M3s will play on Sunday from 12.15pm against Uddingston 2s at Titwood. In Men’s West District Division 1A, the M3s are a point behind Glasgow University 2s in fifth place and will still be hopeful of catching the students with two games remaining. The L4s also play on Sunday away to Dumfries 1s, 1.30pm PB. A win for the L4s in their final match of their Women’s West District Division One could see them jump up three places in the table to finish third.

On Saturday, the M5s finish their respective campaign in Men’s West District Division Three, with a home match against Ayr 2s (1.00pm PB). A win tomorrow could see Karl Richmond’s team finish ninth in the league. The M4s have their second last game of the Men’s West District Division Two season away to Hillhead 5s from 3.00pm. Three points could see the M4s overtake their opponents in the league table to sixth place.

Photo credit: Andy Lovat

Harkness the Hero – L1s through to Play-Off final – Weekend Review – 6th April

Women’s Grand Play-Off Semi Final

L1s 5-3 Dundee Wanderers 1s (N Harkness (2), E McGregor, F Lonergan, A Eadie)

Clydesdale Western 1st XI sealed a place in the Women’s Grand Play-Off Final for a third season running after an inspiring display – which included three goals inside the first twenty two minutes – saw off a stirring comeback from Dundee Wanderers at a boisterous rain soaked Titwood last Saturday.

An unerring start from ‘Dale Western saw them race to a 3-0 lead just past the opening twenty minute mark thanks to goals from Naomi Harkness, Emma McGregor and captain Frances Lonergan. Wanderers responded just short of half time from the spot before adding another two goals fifteen minutes into the second half to throw the contest very much in the air. But the home side found their first half finishing touch when Harkness added a second to her name, before Ali Eadie sealed the win from the spot with ten minutes to go. The result means the L1s qualify for the Women’s Grand Play-Off Final, where they will play Western Wildcats on Saturday 13th April at Glasgow Green from 2.00pm.

In a game that coincided with a number of Play-Off games around Scotland, ‘Dale Western could not have wished for a better start against the side who effectively ended their Women’s National Division One ambitions seven days prior to their Semi Final Play-Off contest. Three minutes were in when a quick piece of thinking when taking a free hit just short of the final 25 saw the ball played into Millie Steiger right of the baseline before setting up McGregor who had her initial shot saved. The rebound fell back to McGregor who unselfishly teed up Harkness at the back post with the simple task of tapping in to open the scoring. The home side stepped up their intentions and were quickly rewarded with a second goal. The award of a corner saw the ball switched left for a Julie Lonergan sweep that was deflected by a forward off the goalkeeper’s helmet and in the air. Fortunately for the L1s, McGregor – who had moved towards goal following her injection duties – was on hand to slam home the loose airborne ball into the goal. ‘Dale Western made it three when Frances Lonergan smashed home a corner in the twenty second minute. Wanderers responded not long before half time, when a short corner attempt was stopped by a home side foot on the line, which resulted in the awarding of a penalty flick. The flick was duly dispatched emphatically in to the top corner for 3-1 and kept the contest alive.

Despite the best efforts of a noisy Titwood support, it was the away side who did all the cheering not once but twice in fifteen second half minutes, responding to a three goal deficit in stunning style to level proceedings and set up a grandstand finish. The second goal saw a scrimmage in the ‘Dale Western circle break for a Dundonian forward left of the baseline to lift past ‘keeper Jessica Buchanan. The L1s should have scored a fourth after a Heather Lang pass found Harkness near the penalty spot. But despite the away side’s goalkeeper being out of the goal, the opportunity for Harkness was amazingly missed. And they were made to pay after a loose piece of possession inside their own 25 saw the home side picked off with one pass into a Wanderers forward, right of the circle, to slot past Buchanan again. Harkness thankfully made amends for her open goal miss, after a pass in the D reached Lang. Unable to get a shot away, the Scotland capped forward layed the ball off to Harkness towards the left hand side of the baseline, who lifted in the goal for 4-3. And with ten minutes to play, the home side were awarded a flick of their own – for the same offence as the one they were penalised with earlier – which was converted by Ali Eadie. Clydesdale Western went on to see out the remaining ten minutes of the contest to secure their place in next weekend’s Final, where they will face Western Wildcats – who beat WNL 1 champions Edinburgh University 1-0 in the coinciding Semi Final.

M3s 3-2 Glasgow University 2s (D Henderson (2), I King); M4s 0-10 Rottenrow 2s; M5s 1-7 Western Wildcats 4s (S Chastin)

L2s 2-1 Watsonians 2s (L Arnold, A Ballantyne); L3s 6-2 Waverley Inveresk Trinity 1s (R Whittle (2), H Walker, G Green (2), I Denholm)

In the rest of Saturday’s games, the L2s and L3s finished their league seasons with wins, whilst the M3s also collected three points.

The M3s found themselves in all kinds of disarray, 2-0 down at half time to Glasgow University 2s at Titwood. But David Henderson’s inventive under the arm finish at an angle from Colin Moulson’s pass triggered a comeback. Henderson added a second ten minutes later, before his short corner attempt five minutes towards the end found its way to Ian King who swept home to give the M3s a 3-2 win. However, the M4s and M5s had tough games in Men’s West District Two and Three respectively. The M4s went down 10-0 away to Rottenrow 2s, whilst the M5s lost 7-1 at Auchenhowie to Western Wildcats 4s, despite being a goal ahead through Sebastian Chastin.

The L2s and L3s secured second and fourth place finishes in Women’s Championship Division One after wins against Watsonians 2s and Waverley Inveresk Trinity 1s respectively. The L2s took three points following their 2-1 win against Watsonians 2s at Tipperlinn, despite being a goal down. A goal each from Lucy Arnold and Annabelle Ballantyne meant the L2s – who had a matchday squad featuring two debutants in Elise Fitzgerald and Alessia Martinolli – finished second in Championship One’s league table this season. The L3s took maximum points in a superb performance that gave them a 6-2 win at home to Waverley Inveresk Trinity 1s. Superb team moves saw Rachel Whittle score two from close range early on before veterans Helen Walker and Gill Green added to the L3s first half tally, despite Waverley scoring a goal in between the third and fourth home goal. The away side scored another but the comeback was over when Green added a second from the spot. The L3s put the icing on the cake after a superb move featuring Walker, Green and player of the match Anna Winter, resulted with a goal for Iona Denholm, who tapped in to make it a 6-2 final score line.

Photo credit: Rhona Weir

Weekend Preview – 6th April

With the M1s & M2s finishing their season, and no Women’s West District fixtures on due to the holiday season, Clydesdale and Clydesdale Western have six teams in action including the L1s. The L1s will be keen to shrug off last weekend’s disappointment when they go in to Saturday’s big game facing familiar opposition.

L1s vs. Dundee Wanderers 1s (3.00pm, H)

Women’s National Division One Grand Play-Off Semi Final

Clydesdale Western will have home advantage in their bid to seal a place in next weekend’s Grand Play-Off Final of Women’s National Division One when they take on Dundee Wanderers in the Semi Final from 3.00pm.

‘Dale Western narrowly missed out on the WNL 1 crown after losing 2-1 at home to tomorrow’s opponents Wanderers. That result meant that a point would have been enough for Edinburgh University to seal the league – and they went a step better by taking three points in a 9-1 win away to Hillhead. Despite the loss, the L1s finished second in the league table, meaning they will play third place at home in the Play-Offs for the remaining and potentially highest European qualification spot for women’s hockey in Scotland. Dundee Wanderers finished third, which means the two sides will lock horns again following what was a fairly even contest last Saturday despite the visitors win.

For Clydesdale Western, head coach Derek Forsyth still has Heather Howie unavailable with a broken arm, whilst Laura Mann is also unavailable. However, Georgia Smith and Anna Hoolaghan are recalled for tomorrow’s Semi Final.

M3s vs. Glasgow University 2s (12.00 noon, H); M4s vs. Rottenrow 2s (1.30pm, A); M5s vs. Western Wildcats 4s (12.30pm, A)

L2s vs. Watsonians 2s (2.30pm, A); L3s vs. Waverley Inveresk Trinity 1s (1.30pm, H)

For the rest of the ‘Dale and ‘Dale Western teams, both the L2s and L3s complete their season in Women’s Championship Division One tomorrow.

The L2s know at least a point away to Watsonians 2s (2.30pm PB) will guarantee a second placed finish, whilst the L3s are already virtually guaranteed to finish fourth when they play Waverley Inveresk Trinity 1s at home from 1.30pm. The L3s hold a three point lead over Edinburgh University 3s, and even if Uni 3s win and the L3s lose, it would require a 28 goal swing in the student side’s favour.

The M3s, M4s and M5s still have a few games left before the Men’s West District Division’s come to a close. The M3s are the only men’s team at home as they play Glasgow University 2s from noon. The M5s are at Auchenhowie from 12.30pm to play Western Wildcats 4s and the M4s are away to Glasgow Green to play Rottenrow 2s from 1.30pm.

Photo credit: Rhona Weir