All posts by Jeetinder Berman

Weekend Preview – 16th October

Clydesdale Men’s 1s will be aiming to bounce back to winning ways in the Men’s Premiership when they face Grove Menzieshill 1s at Dawson Park from 12.20pm on Saturday.

The M1s fell to a 3-4 home defeat against Inverleith last weekend. The result meant Ciaran Crawford’s side have two wins and two losses from their opening four games. A win for ‘Dale on Saturday, however, could take them as high as fourth in the Men’s Premiership table.

Their opponents, meanwhile, are still searching for their first win of the league season. After drawing their opening game, Menzieshill have gone on to lose the next three – the most recent two games by large margins.

The L2s are away to Edinburgh University 2s in arguably their biggest fixture of the season on Saturday.

‘Dale Western 2s will play at Peffermill to fellow Women’s Championship challengers Edinburgh University 2s from 1.00pm. These two sides have regularly been the top two sides in the Women’s Championship in recent years and, given the starts that both sides have made to the season, it is likely that this will be the case again. The L2s are four from four, and are three points ahead of Uni 2s, albeit having played a game more. However, a win for Donald Amour’s side could stretch their lead at the top of the table.

Meanwhile, the L3s are still searching for their first points of the season in the Women’s Championship. But will have been buoyed following their 2-0 win over Kelburne 2s in the Women’s Scottish Cup last Sunday. The L3s will also make the trip to Edinburgh to play Watsonians 2s at Tipperlinn from 12.00 noon.

Also at 12.00 noon are the M2s, who take on Uddingston 2s at Bothwell in the Men’s Regional Division. The first of two home games on at Titwood starts from 1.30pm as the L4s host Dumfries 1s in Women’s West District Division One. Then from 3.00pm, the L6s face East Kilbride 2s in Women’s West District Division Three.

Photo credit: Rob Lindblade

Four cup wins out of five for ‘Dale & ‘Dale Western – Weekend Review – 10th October

Clydesdale Western 1s secured a safe passage into the Second Round of the Women’s Scottish Cup following a big win against Edinburgh University 2s at Peffermill on Sunday.

With Uni 2s playing their hockey in the Women’s Championship Division One, there was a gap between the two sides with the L1s regularly competing in the Women’s Premiership, particularly being in direct competition with Edinburgh University’s 1st XI. But braces from Millie Steiger and Jen Eadie as well as one from Lexi Sabatelli and a rare goal too for Laura Paul gave Derek Forsyth’s team a routine win in their First Round tie.

Forsyth rotated a few members of his squad from those that have featured heavily in the L1s opening four league games. Goalkeeper Cara McAllister was given a rest, meaning Iona Colquhoun made her 1st team debut for Clydesdale Western following a summer transfer. Annabel Ballantyne and Anna Logan were recalled and debuts were given to youngsters Anna Winter and Rachel Brown.

After a first quarter of nothing major to note, ‘Dale Western opened the scoring in the second when Eadie struck home a penalty corner. Eadie then turned provider for the next two goals. After a breakdown of another corner, the Scotland midfielder set up Paul for a deflection from the penalty spot before teeing up Steiger in similar fashion.

Steiger doubled her tally for the away side’s fourth when she collected the ball after some scrappy play to lift in to Uni’s goal. Sabatelli made it five after collecting a pass before driving left of the circle and finishing with a reverse stick shot. Eadie completed the scoring – and a fine personal performance – by dribbling from the 25 metre line to the right hand side of the circle before scoring.

There were four more wins in the rest of Clydesdale & Clydesdale Western’s cup ties, including the L3s who recorded their first result of the season.

Despite having lost their opening five league games, the L3s beat Kelburne 2s in the First Round of the Women’s Scottish Cup following a 2-0 win at Glasgow Green – youngster Darcy McNeill scoring both goals. The L2s, however, will now drop in to the Women’s Scottish Plate after losing 3-1 away to Perthshire 1s. The L4s secured victory in the First Round of Women’s Scottish District Cup. A goal each from veterans Marnie Moulson and Cath Stirling sealing a hardfought 2-1 win against Hillhead 3s at Upper Windyedge.

The only men’s tie that took play for Clydesdale on Sunday was the M2s who saw off Glasgow University 2s at Garscube. A first half penalty flick from the returning Dean Baber was added to by a superb solo run and reverse stick finish from Ian King.

Photo credit: Rob Lindblade

L1s keep up 100% start, M1s fall to Inverleith – Weekend Review – 9th October

Clydesdale Men’s 1s long awaited return to competitive hockey at Titwood ended in a disappointing defeat to Inverleith on Saturday in the Men’s Premiership.

Despite scoring three goals, the M1s ended up on the wrong end of a 3-4 scoreline to their Edinburgh opponents, meaning Ciaran Crawford’s side stay on six points after four games. A goal each from Ali Douglas, Gregor Hirst and Euan Lindsay – all of which were assisted by David Nairn who was excellent throughout the contest – rendered meaningless as Clydesdale will now look to bounce next Saturday away to Grove Menzieshill 1s.

Going into the game, Crawford was boosted by the returns of Gregor Hirst, Sam Hayes, Graham Dunlop, Jamie Green and Ben Cosgrove. But was without skipper Andrew Allan, Jack McKenzie and Sammy Kasto.
The Titwood side started the game brightly and were unlucky not to take an early lead when Patrick Lonergan’s sweep shot was equalled by an excellent reaction save. Not long after, Ali Douglas opened the scoring, converting a tap in following superb baseline skills from Nairn matched by a measured short pass for his teammate to latch on to. But the home side were caught napping straight after when a ball from Inverleith’s right hand side was played into the circle and the away side’s forward nipped in ahead of goalkeeper Calum Douglas to deflect in and level the scores. The Edinburgh side then took the lead in the second quarter from a drag flick penalty corner.

The second half was the expected effort from ‘Dale to try and force an equaliser. Chances came and went, most notably in the form of corners. But with regular flicker Allan unavailable, Clydesdale were unable to break the Inverleith’s resistance. And the Edinburgh side’s dogged defence was rewarded with a third goal. Despite an excellent stick save from Calum Douglas, an away side forward was unmarked for the rebound and slotted in to the ‘Dale goal with ease.

The final quarter brought an early ray of hope when Nairn drove round the Inverleith circle before teeing up Gregor Hirst for a close range finish, reducing the deficit to one goal. But that lasted no more than five minutes, when an Inverleith forward escaped ‘Dale’s defensive attention and brilliantly tucked away a flicked shot in off the post leaving Calum Douglas helpless. With five minutes to go, the home side set up a big finish when Nairn took on the Inverleith defence again and found Lindsay, who calmly converted.

But despite a number of flashes across goal, the M1s were unable to find an equaliser with the short time that remained, leaving them empty handed.

Emma McGregor announced her return to the Clydesdale Western 1st XI squad with two goals to help see off Uddingston 1s at Titwood in the Women’s Premiership on Saturday.

A double from McGregor and one each from fellow forwards Heather Lang and Lexi Sabatelli helped seal a 4-0 win. The scoreline could, and arguably should, have been more with the amount of chances ‘Dale Western had, but Head Coach Derek Forsyth will no doubt be happier with his L1s side keeping their third clean sheet from four completed league games.

As well as McGregor’s return, Forsyth brought Lucy Bliss back into the team, whilst Karin Belch and Annabel Ballantyne dropped out from the squad that played in the previous weekend’s big win against Edinburgh University 1s.

Going into the clash with the Bothwell side, on paper, the Titwood girls would have been favourites to take maximum points. And it was no surprise that the L1s began with relentless pressure on the Uddy goal, which brought McGregor’s first goal to get the L1s up and running. Jen Eadie’s long corner was played into McGregor who drove into the circle before finishing with a reverse stick shot. Such was the domination, the home side were effectively camped inside the visitors half. But a combination of strong defending, last ditch clearances and a number of excellent saves from the Uddingston goalkeeper kept ‘Dale Western restricted to just one goal by half time.

In the second half, the away side gained more possession and stepped further up the field to avoid a repeat of the first half pressure. But in doing so, more space opened up for Forsyth’s team who eventually doubled their lead when McGregor scored again, this time from close range. Two became three not long after when Lang collected and finished a rebound opportunity from a save by Uddy’s number one.
Lexi Sabatelli completed the scoring at four by rounding the ‘keeper and slotting into an empty goal. Much like the first half, plenty of chances were on offer, but no more than the four scored were taken.

The home side did have a few questions asked at the end, but nothing ever materialised in what was a quiet afternoon for goalkeeper Cara McAllister and her defensive unit led by captain Frances Lonergan.

Clydesdale Men’s 2s and Clydesdale Western 2s kept up their fine starts to their respective seasons by both recording home wins.

The M2s were without Head Coach Stuart Banford, but Ewan Fraser stepped in as caretaker coach for the weekend, starting with a league encounter at home to Greenock Morton 1s in the Men’s Regional Division. Both sides started well and the contest was on an even keel until Jeetinder Berman opened the scoring in the second quarter with a lifted shot into the net. Neil Morton Lloyd then kept up his fine goalscoring form with two goals in a short space of time in the third quarter. Morton Lloyd tapped in from penalty corner for goal one before unleashing a fierce reverse stick finish for his second. Jack Cassie completed the scoring for the home side from close range as the M2s saw out the win despite Greenock pulling one back towards the end. The M2s are now top of the Men’s Regional Division and are unbeaten after five games.

Meanwhile, the L2s kept up their 100% start to the season in the Women’s Championship Division One after a comfortable win over Erskine Stewart’s Melville 2s. Rachel Brown, Rosie Tudor and Annabel Ballantyne each scoring a goal to give Donald Amour’s side a 3-1 win, keeping the L2s top of the table in the process. A stark contrast for the L3s, however, who remain without a point in the same division. Despite a solid effort, the L3s lost 2-1 at home to Glasgow University 2s – Claire MacDonald grabbing a consolation goal.

The L5s were beaten by GHK 3s at Old Anniesland in Women’s West District Division Two. The visiting side were five minutes away from a well earned point before the west end side scored the game’s only goal. In Women’s West District Division Three, the L6s had an extremly tough afternoon, losing out 12-1 to Hillhead 4s. Poppy Ballantyne was the L6s sole goalscorer.

To read about action from Sunday’s cup games, please click here.

Photo credit: Rob Lindblade

Weekend Preview – 10th October

Clydesdale Western 1s will face Edinburgh University 2s on Sunday in the First Round of the Women’s Scottish Cup at Peffermill from 4.00pm.

Whilst the L1s play their hockey in the Women’s Premiership, their opponents for Sunday’s cup tie play in Women’s Championship Division One – coincidentally the same league that the L2s and L3s play in weekly.

Though there may be a large structural gap between the two sides, Uni 2s have been champions of the Women’s Championship Division One on a frequent basis in recent seasons, with some leagues wins being concluded with a large points gap from the rest of the chasing pack.

Nonetheless, Head Coach Derek Forsyth will expect to see the L1s into the next round is expected to name a typical line up synonymous to those who feature in the league campaign. Especially as there are no long-term absences or casualties to his regular squad. The last time these two sides met was back in April 2018 – the L1s winning 5-0 in the Women’s Scottish Plate Final at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre.

The M2s are the only men’s team in cup action, whilst the L2s, L3s and L4s take to the field on Sunday in their respective cup ties.

The M2s have made a solid start to the league season, having remained unbeaten following last Saturday’s draw against Edinburgh University 3s. And they will take on Glasgow University 2s in the First Round of the Men’s Scottish District Cup at Garscube from 4.10pm.

Head Coach Stuart Banford is likely to name a blend of youth and experience in his matchday squad as per usual. Banford is also boosted by the return of Dean Baber, who has been a long-term absence since pre-Covid. This will also, no doubt, be welcome news to M1s Head Ciaran Crawford with games coming thick and fast in the next four weeks.

The L2s and L3s, meanwhile, are also involved in the First Round of the Women’s Scottish Cup. The L2s visit Strathallan School to face Perthshire 1s at 3.30pm and the L3s take the short trip to Glasgow National Hockey Centre, taking on Kelburne 2s from 4.20pm.

Clydesdale Western’s earliest pushback of the day will be the L4s in the First Round of the Women’s Scottish District Cup. They will visit Upper Windyedge against Hillhead 3s – 12.00 noon start.

Photo credit: Rob Lindblade

Weekend Preview – 9th October

Clydesdale Men’s 1s finally make their long awaited return to competitive hockey at Titwood on Saturday against Inverleith 1s in the Men’s Premiership from 2.30pm.

The M1s have not played a competitive home game since 1st March 2020 – a 5-3 Scottish Cup loss to Grange. And Grange, ironically, were scheduled to be ‘Dale’s first home opponents in the Men’s Premiership two Saturday’s ago, but a postponement was agreed by both clubs.

Ciaran Crawford’s side will finally set foot on the Titwood turf for league action on Saturday in a bid to record their third win from their opening four games of the 2021-22 season. Meanwhile, visitors Inverleith, newly promoted to the Men’s Premiership, have started with two wins and a draw from their opening four games – each scoreline being settled by no more than one goal.

Graham Dunlop, Ben Cosgrove, Sam Hayes and Gregor Hirst are all available after missing last weekend’s win against Edinburgh University, whilst Scotland U17’s Jamie Green is also in contention to return to the 1s fold for Saturday’s match.

Clydesdale Western 1st XI are aiming to record their fourth straight win in the Women’s Premiership for 2021-22 when they welcome newly promoted Uddingston 1s at Titwood in a 12.45pm pushback.

The L1s are also playing their first competitive home game this season. The last competitive game at Titwood, incidentally, was on 9th March 2020 in the Women’s Scottish Plate – with ‘Dale Western thrashing CALA Edinburgh 1s 9-0 in the Quarter Final stage.

Head Coach Derek Forsyth will be keen for his side to push on from their stunning start to the season in which they have taken maximum points from Watsonians, Western Wildcats and, most recently, Edinburgh University. This season is Uddingston Ladies 1s first ever season in the top flight of Scottish Hockey and the visitors have had a decent return so far, having won two of their first four games.

Emma McGregor, who has been a notable absence from Forsyth’s squad, is hoping to make a return to an otherwise full strength L1s squad.

The M2s are the only men’s team in action on Saturday, whilst five Ladies teams including the L1s, are involved in league encounters.

11.00am is the first passback of the day at Titwood, when Stuart Banford’s M2s team take on Greenock Morton 1s in the Men’s Regional Division.

The L2s and L3s play after both 1st teams at Titwood in the Women’s Championship Division One. Erskine Stewart’s Melville 2s are the opposition for the L2s from 4.00pm before the L3s start at 5.30pm against Glasgow University 2s.

The L5s, in Women’s West District Division Two, are away to Old Anniesland from 12.30pm to face GHK 3s. From 2.45pm, the L6s are away to Hillhead 4s at Lower Windyedge in Women’s West District Division Three.

Photo credit: Rob Lindblade