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Weekend Preview – 18th/19th September

Clydesdale Men’s 1st XI will be aiming to build on their opening day win in the Men’s Premiership when they take on Western Wildcats Men’s 1s at Auchenhowie from 1.30pm.

‘Dale eventually eased to a comfortable 4-1 win away to Dundee Wanderers last Saturday. And it was all the more impressive given six Clydesdale players were debutants within the squad. Head Coach Ciaran Crawford will hope to hand out one more debut – this time to new recruit Jack McKenzie, a summer arrival from Kelburne. With the M1s having a near enough full squad available, McKenzie’s potential inclusion will be one of a number of selection decisions that Crawford will have to make for Saturday’s big clash with Western.

The home side, meanwhile, began their season with a 6-1 win away to Hillhead 1s and boast a strong squad at their disposal themselves. The last time these two sides played a competitive game, the scoreline finished 2-2 – the Milngavie side coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the final quarter at Titwood back in September 2019.

Clydesdale Western 1s continue their tough opening fixture list in the Women’s Premiership with an away trip to Auchenhowie to play Western Wildcats Ladies 1s from 3.00pm.

Last weekend, Jenny Eadie’s penalty corner was enough to give the L1s three points in their opening day clash with fellow title challengers Watsonians at Peffermill. Derek Forsyth will no doubt have been pleased by the result last Saturday, especially with his new players settling quickly in to the ‘Dale Western squad. And the L1s Head Coach has no long term absentees, so is expected to name a near full strength squad for Saturday’s contest in Milngavie.

Western 1s started the Women’s Premiership season with a 0-0 draw to Hillhead 1s last Friday. The home side have strong core of experience in their team, including ex-Scotland captain Kaz Marshall, and are likely to provide a stern test to Clydesdale Western’s resolve. October 2019 was the last time the two teams faced each other in a competitive setting, with the L1s sealing a 1-0 win at home.

Two Clydesdale Western sides will begin their respective Women’s West District seasons on Saturday.

The L5s host Glasgow University 4s at Craigholme from 4.00pm in Women’s West District Division Two, whilst the L6s are at Hutchesons’ Grammar School (HGS) in Women’s West District Division Three, 3.00pm pushback.

The L2s & L3s in Women’s Championship Division One will both play at HGS, both at 1.30pm – but on Saturday & Sunday respectively. The L2s, hoping to build on their away win to Watsonians 2s last Saturday, are up against Grove Menzieshill 2s. 24 hours later, the L3s welcome Erskine Stewart’s Melville 2s.

Back to Saturday’s card, from 12.30pm sees the M2s take on Inverleith 2s in the Men’s Regional Division at Mary Erskine School, whilst the M5s travel to Millerston to play Stepps 2s in Men’s West District Division Three.

At 4.30pm, M5s Development, also in Men’s West District Division Three, are away to Auchenhowie to play Western Wildcats 4s. The M4s are at HGS against East Kilbride 1s in Men’s West District Division Two.

Photo credit: Duncolm Sports Photography

L1s & M1s start season with opening day wins – Weekend Review – 11th/12th September

Clydesdale Western 1s began the 2021-22 Women’s Premiership season by grabbing an excellent win away to potential title rivals Watsonians 1s at Peffermill on Saturday.

Watsonians squad featured a number of Scotland internationalists following strong summer acquisitions. But, it was ‘Dale Western’s very own Scotland star in Jennifer Eadie who settled the contest with the game’s only goal in the third quarter to give Derek Forsyth’s side an invaluable three points on the opening day of the season.

Clydesdale Western’s squad featured a number of recruits of their own. Fiona Semple, also in the Scotland Senior Women’s squad, returned to Titwood last year to make her second debut on Saturday. Alongside Semple in their first games for the L1s were Paz Medina San Martin from Argentina and Lucy Bliss. Scotland U19 Goalkeeper Cara McCallister was chosen between the sticks, with previous number 1 Jessica Buchanan now playing her hockey for Atlètic Terrasa in Spain.

In the match, the first quarter passed by without too much trouble for Forsyth’s team despite the Edinburgh side’s attempt to start quickly. The second quarter saw the L1s keep possession more effectively but ultimately could not break the home side’s defence despite a couple of half chances. But the deadlock was eventually broken when Jen Eadie converted a penalty corner after half time. Watsons had a few corners of their own but were thwarted by a stubborn ‘Dale Western defence. ‘Dale Western’s attack, meanwhile, almost went close to doubling their lead from another corner, but were denied by the post. The miss rendered meaningless, however, as the L1s held on for a crucial victory going into next weekend’s game with Western Wildcats at Auchenhowie.

Clydesdale 1s scored four second half goals to give Ciaran Crawford’s side three points on the opening day of the Men’s Premiership campaign against Dundee Wanderers 1s at Dalnacraig on Saturday.

A goal each from David Nairn, Fraser Hirst, Andrew Allan and a sublime solo goal from Ali Douglas broke Wanderers resistance to win game one of the season for ‘Dale.

Head Coach Crawford selected six first time debutants in the M1s squad on Saturday. Ben Cosgrove, Alex Lihou, Johnny Bradley, Jamie Green, Euan Anderson and Sammy Kasto were all new to the ‘Dale squad whilst Gregor Hirst and Patrick Lonergan were making their second debuts following respective returns last year.

If there was passage of play to sum up the lengthy spell away from hockey, then the first quarter at Dalnacraig was that in a nutshell. Both sides struggled to set a tempo and, despite corner chances for both sides, the scoreline remained goalless. Quarter two saw the M1s start to dominate possession but rarely asked questions of the home side’s goalkeeper. But after half time, the M1s got the breakthrough when Nairn tapped in at the back post. The goals continued when, not long after, a Clydesdale counter ended with Nairn setting up Fraser Hirst for a simple finish. And the game effectively ended as a contest when Allan slotted a penalty corner. The Tayside team did reduce the deficit with a corner of their own before Douglas capped off a solid win by beating two defenders and then sending a sensational upright reverse finish into the bottom corner.

Saturday’s action produced two more wins alongside the Men’s & Women’s 1st teams.

The L2s beat Watsonians second-string side in game one of the Women’s Championship Division One league following a 2-1 win at Tipperlinn thanks to a goal each from Nicky Wilson and Rachel Whittle. The L3s, in the same competition, sadly went down 1-0 to George Heriots FP 1s at Goldenacre but that failed to tell the whole story. The L3s, who traditionally have had a more experienced squad, had nine juniors involved in Saturday’s match – with each and every one of those nine putting in a superb effort despite the loss.

The M3s in Men’s West District Division One drew 1-1 at Hutchesons’ Grammar School (HGS) to Hillhead 3s as Mitchell Pritchard recorded his second goal of the season. The M4s, at the same venue, produced a goalscoring display in a 5-2 win against Hillhead 5s. First half goals from Iain Flynn and Manahara Ratnayake saw the score level at 2-2, before Aidan Black added two and Lewis Gambles with one to give the home side a three goal advantage by full time to seal the M4s first points of the season in Men’s West District Division Two. Despite a number of senior inputs in the goalscoring stakes, it was the juniors who were given the plaudits with notable performances from Gambles, Andrew Cox and Logan Forsyth. The M5s lost 4-1 in the final game at HGS to Kelburne 4s in Men’s West District Division Three – Florent Saint-Ledger being the host’s sole goalscorer.

Sunday saw Titwood host competitive domestic games for the first time since March 2020.

The day’s early game saw the M5s Development, also in Men’s West District Division Three, suffer a chastening result, going down 7-0 to Helensburgh 2s.

In the later game, the M2s had to come from behind on three separate occasions to open their Men’s Regional League campaign with three points in a cracking encounter with Hillhead 2s. The first equaliser came from Neil Morton Lloyd with a finish from close range, cancelling out Hillhead’s goalscoring corner. M2s captain Alex Ingram then tucked away a smart reverse stick finish either side of two capitalisations on Clydesdale defensive errors by the visitors.

But the game turned in the final ten minutes. The goal of the game arguably came from the home side when veteran Graham Dunlop stole possession just inside Hillhead’s half before hitting a cross field pass to the back post for Blair Paul to convert a textbook sliding deflection to level at 3-3. Minutes later, the Titwood side quickly gained possession from a Hillhead hit out, which culminated in Morton Lloyd finishing off Jeetinder Berman’s square pass. Leo Howes, also on return to Clydesdale since 2014, finished the scoring to give Stuart Banford’s side an opening day 5-3 win.

Photo credit: Andy Lovat

Weekend Preview – 11th/12th September

Clydesdale Western Ladies 1st XI start their return to competitive hockey with an away trip to Edinburgh against Watsonians 1s from 1.30pm at Peffermill in the Women’s Premiership.

Rewind back to 7th March 2020, the L1s swept aside Gordonians 1s to maintain the barest of goal difference advantages over Edinburgh University 1s in the Women’s Premiership table. On the hope by the end of that season would have been a championship win actually turned into an outcome that no person would ever have anticipated and would not want to happen again. Thankfully, a new season will begin on Saturday and the L1s, led by Derek Forsyth in his sixth year at the club, will be keen to start the campaign on a positive note.

‘Dale Western 1s have had major changes, in and out, on the eve of the 2021-22 season. Away departs Naomi Harkness, Julie Lonergan, Sarah Lonergan, Zara Mason and Martha Lawson. Incoming sees Argentinian recruit Paz Medina and goalkeeper Iona Colquhoun. And expect to see some of ‘Dale Western’s upcoming youth players involved this season such as Emma Murray, who has impressed during pre-season. Add in our Scotland mainstay in the likes of Jen Eadie, Millie Steiger and the recently capped Bronwyn Shields, Forsyth’s squad is looking strong.

Watsonians have proven to be sticky opposition in the past however. The last time the two sides met, the Myreside club pipped the L1s by a solitary goal. The home will no doubt be aiming to be Premiership challengers to Clydesdale Western, so this should be an excellent contest.

Clydesdale Men’s 1s will take the trip north to face Dundee Wanderers 1s at Dalnacraig from 1.30pm in the opening fixture of the Men’s Premiership.

Ironically, the last competitive game the M1s played? Dundee Wanderers 1s at Dalnacraig. The contest that day – also on the 7th March 2020 – finished 1-1, with Andy McAllan cancelling out Wanderers opener. Whether it would have been seen as a major dent to Clydesdale’s top four ambitions in the 2019-20 season is something players and followers will never know due to the events that followed. But the 2021-22 campaign starts on Saturday, and Head Coach Ciaran Crawford, getting ready for his third season in charge, will be positive for the season ahead.

Although there have been some notable departures in Gordon Amour, Nigel Lucas and Ben Galloway, Crawford still has available a strength in depth for the first time in quite a while. This includes current Scotland international Ben Cosgrove, who joined from Grove Menzieshill last year, along fellow Grovie and Men’s Premiership regular Alex Lihou. Both are set for their first ever competitive match in a ‘Dale shirt. Ex-Wales U21 player Sammy Kasto also joined at the same time, whilst the club also welcomed back former players Gregor Hirst and Patrick Lonergan. Add in ex-Kelburne Jack McKenzie and Euan Anderson from Strathclyde University, makes it seven new players through the Titwood door.

Dundee Wanderers will predictably be tough opposition to play against though, so the M1s will need to be at their best to hopefully get three points from their opening game of what will hopefully be a great season ahead.

Over the weekend, there will be a further seven matches, two of which take place on Sunday such as the M2s league opener at home to Hillhead.

Stuart Banford – preparing for season number five in Clydesdale coaching colours – sees his M2s side take on Hillhead 2s in a newly revamped Men’s Regional Division from 2.30pm on Sunday at Titwood. Before them is the M5s Development team, who will be hoping to build on the excellent point they gained last weekend as they play Helensburgh 2s from 12.45pm in Men’s West District Division Three, also at home.

On Saturday, the M3s, M4s and M5s all play at Hutchesons’ Grammar School at 1.30pm, 3.00pm and 4.30pm respectively. All three sides lost their opening games last Saturday. The M3s are up against Hillhead 3s in Men’s West District Division One, the M4s play Hillhead 5s in Men’s West District Division Two and the M5s host Kelburne 4s in Men’s West District Division Three.

The L2s & L3s begin their Women’s Championship Division One seasons, both away and both in Edinburgh. The L2s, like the L1s, face Watsonians – but their second team with a 1.00pm pushback at Tipperlinn. The L2s will be coached by Donald Amour this season, but is unavailable for the weekend’s game. The L3s have an earlier passback of 12.30pm away to George Heriots FP 1s.

Club Statement – Saturday 4th September

We’d like to take this opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of basic life support training and the availability/use of defibrillators, following Saturday’s 1st XI friendly between Clydesdale and Teddington at Auchenhowie, home of Western Wildcats Hockey Club.
A couple of minutes shy of half time, Clydesdale’s Ewan Fraser, aged 30, collapsed on the pitch while playing in the game. Teammates were on hand quickly to respond and put Ewan into the recovery position. However, it quickly became clear that Ewan had lost consciousness and had stopped breathing. He had suffered a cardiac arrest. Spectators called emergency services as well as collecting a defibrillator (AED), while CPR was administered on the pitch. Ewan had to be given two shocks to successfully restart his heart. Thankfully, just 9 minutes after 999 was called, an ambulance arrived on scene and Ewan was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital for further care. Ewan has already made remarkable progress in the following days, but it will no doubt be a long road to full recovery. But as a club, we are hopeful that Ewan will continue to make the excellent strides he has done since Saturday.

According to the British Heart Foundation, less than 1 in 10 people survive a sudden out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). If a defibrillator is used within the first minute of arrest, the survival rate can be as high as 90%. If used within the first 3 to 5 minutes, the likelihood of survival is 74%. The club cannot stress enough the importance of having a defibrillator in close attendance during any sporting event that takes place. We hope that everyone reading this appreciates the value of them and spreads the news across the country. We ask all hockey clubs in Scotland to please review their safety procedures – in particular, whether they have a defibrillator available for use pitch-side, in case a similar scenario occurs. We would also urge all members of Clydesdale, and all other hockey clubs, to consider attending a defibrillator and CPR first aid training course. The training received may come in handy and crucially save someone’s life.

We would like to take this time to thank Ewan’s teammates & the spectators of Saturday’s friendly who attended to crucially aid Ewan. In particular to Western Wildcats Hockey Club for the use of their recently acquired defibrillator as well as their assistance in attaining the help of emergency services. And finally, the club would like to send our best wishes to Ewan. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ewan as he continues in his recovery.

1 point from 12 in Men’s West openers – Weekend Review – 4th September

Clydesdale Men’s 3s went down late on to Uddingston 3s at Bothwell Castle Policies in their opening fixture of the Men’s West District Division One season.

The M3s started the game well against a strong Uddy side, scoring twice midway through the first half. Mitchell Pritchard converted from close range before Peter Justice hit home a penalty corner.

The home side pulled one back from a corner rebound just shy of half time, before scoring two well worked goals at the start of the second period. Craig Bradley’s side scored an equaliser when Ali Bleach scored a smart corner. The game was on a knife edge with both sides having equally as good chances. Clydesdale’s best moment coming from Ruairidh Callaghan’s driving left to right run and shot which was denied by a solid save from Uddy’s goalkeeper.

But the final goal would come from the home side. Uddy’s matchwinner was given valuable time and space to sweep home past a helpless Dougie Mann less than five minutes from time.

Clydesdale Men’s 4s were beaten by GHK 1s at Hutchesons’ Grammar School in their opening fixture in Men’s West District Division Two despite a strong display.

The M4s make up of young, talented but inexperienced players at senior level flanked by a few older heads was vastly different in comparison to their visitors who possessed a strong adult presence. Despite this, the M4s arguably deserved their 1-1 scoreline at half time, with Lewis Gambles grabbing the home side’s goal.

But GHK’s experience came to the fore, scoring three unanswered goals to take maximum points. Despite the loss, the M4s youngsters performed with great tenacity throughout, especially Guy Hogan who notably had an excellent game.

Clydesdale Men’s 5s came out on the wrong side of a 4-2 scoreline to Uddingston 5s at Bothwell Castle Policies in an early pushback in Men’s West District Division Three.

A goal each from Niklas Lange and Nathan Bean sadly was not enough to stop the M5s registering a loss in their season’s opening fixture.

The new Clydesdale Men’s 5s Development side announced their potential by taking a point away from Auchenhowie against Western Wildcats 5s in Men’s West District Division Three – but were minutes away from sealing all three points.

A terrific performance was put in by all representing the M5s Development side which only had three adults in the matchday squad for the league opener.

It was an adult, ironically, that would open the scoring for Clydesdale. Spencer Cox scored in what was looked like being a matchwinner until the home side grabbed an equaliser, taking advantage of some tired, opening day of the season legs two minutes from time.

Photo credit: Colin Moulson