Cougars and Wanderers champions on Tayside

30 December 2011



Caledonian Cougars, one of the Scotland squads, clawed their way to 5-3 victory over Scottish champions Inverleith in the final of the Grove Menzieshill Invitation Indoor Tournament at DISC in Dundee yesterday. 

The first half belonged to Inverleith`s Chris Grassick and the Cougar`s Allan Law, both scored twice for a 2-2 half-time score.  Law opened with a penalty corner in only two minutes, but Grassick replied also from a set piece, and then took advantage of a defensive error by Gavin Byers to give the Edinburgh side a 2-1 lead.  In a dramatic last minute before the interval, Law made it 2-2 from another set piece, then Grassick put his overtime penalty corner wide of the target.

Inverleith looked to be on their way just after the break when Stephen Dick put them 3-2 ahead, but after a gap of ten minutes with no goals, Chris Wilson equalised following a break through by Byers.  It was the Cougars who stepped up the pace in the closing minutes and strikes from Gareth Hall and Gary Cameron ensured their 5-3 victory.

Earlier Inverleith lost their unbeaten record in the final pool match with a 6-5 defeat at the hands of the same Caledonian Cougars, courtesy of the last touch goal from Michael Ross as both side seemed to be  squabbling over penalty corner awards.   The Edinburgh side were uncharacteristically slow off their mark and found themselves four down after 15 minutes through strikes from Gareth Hall (2), Gavin Byers and Ross, Stephen Dick got a consolation for Inverleith just on the interval.

Inverleith came out a different team in the second half and fought back to 4-4 through two goals by Derek Salmond and another from Chris Grassick.  Ross struck again to give the Cougars a 5-4 lead, Grassick again equalised with a shot that went in off a defender, but Ross` last gasp counter gave him his hat-trick and the Cougars the points that took them into the final along with Inverleith.

Hosts Menzieshill finally broke their duck with a 4-1 win over Wales, a result that put them into the bronze medal play-off.  But it was the Highland Jaguars who took the medal with a narrow 3-2 win over Menzieshill.

Sam Sangster was the toast of Scottish champions VWS Dundee Wanderers, her penalty conversion gave the Taysiders a 2-1 win over the Scotland senior squad and the gold medal in the women`s final. After the sides had drawn 5-5 in normal time, only Kareena Marshall scored her penalty for Scotland, Nikki Kidd and Amy Brodie missed, but Vikki Bunce and Sangster were both on target for Wanderers.

In four minutes Susan McGilveray opened for the Scots but within seconds Amy Rowan had equalised following good work by Julie Bryce.  There was then an exchange of penalty corners, Sangster found the target first, only for Becky Merchant to score with a high shot.  Bunce proceeded to give Wanderers a 4-2 half time lead, the first went into the roof of the net from a set piece, the other came from a good passing move that opened up the Scottish defence.

Within five minutes of the interval the score was level at 4-4, both goals came from Kidd, the second from the spot after a foul on the line by Sangster.  Both goalkeeper Carmin Dow and Bunce were called upon to make crucial saves as Scotland pressed for the winner, but it was Wanderers who took a 5-4 lead through Ashleigh Bunce after good work from Rowan.  In a dramatic denouement, Kat Cameron equalised for Gordon Shepherd`s charges and the chance of the winner was spurned when Marshall missed the target from the spot.

Scotland kept their perfect record in the pool matches with another not so convincing 4-1 win over Grove.  It took Shepherd`s charges a minute before the interval to strike through Amy Brodie, but almost immediately Jennifer Smith levelled the scores.  In the second half Scotland moved ahead through Nikki Lloyd through a penalty corner, Brodie grabbed her second and the final goal came from Susan McGilveray.

Wanderers route to the final was fraught with self-inflicted problems when the Scottish champions surprisingly lost 2-1 to Grove.  After a goalless first half, it was Grove who took the lead when Louise Carroll converted from the spot.  Although Bunce equalised a few minutes later, schoolgirl Rachael Campbell scored the winner, leaving Wanderers to rue their poor finishing.   The Taysiders responded in style by whipping the USA under 21 side 8-0, set piece expert Sam Sangster scored a hat-trick, Bunce and Amy Rowan both had doubles and Julie Bryce got the other.

The bronze medal play-off was an all American affair with the senior squad beating their juniors 5-0.


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