Grange back at the top of the Premiership
Today`s games have brought some changes to the top of the Premiership tables. Grange are now top with Clydesdale in second spot while in the women`s competition GHK are still in pole position but Hillhead are just behind them.
Grange marched to pole position in the men`s Premiership with a 6-3 victory over Inverleith in a nine goal thriller at Fettes. And, once again the man of the moment was Fraser Heigh with another hat-trick.
Heigh opened the scoring for the champions from the spot, Livio Belotti levelled at a penalty corner, but before the interval Peter Caughey had restored Grange`s advantage.
In the second half Grange motored into a 4-1 lead through another spot conversion by Heigh and another open play strike by Caughey. Livio again from a penalty corner brought it back to 4-2, Grange`s player/coach made it 5-2 only for Inverleith to score their third through Kyle Taylor. Any whiff of a comeback was stifled by a third from Heigh, this time from open play.
Clydesdale joined Grange on twelve points at the top, albeit with a poorer goal difference, after seeing off Kelburne 5-2 at Clydesdale. Euan Lindsay opened in the first period after dribbling along the baseline and then slotting the ball past the keeper.
In the second quarter Gregor Hirst doubled the tally with a volley from a rebound which flew into the roof of the net following a pass from Jack McKenzie for a 2-0 half-time advantage.
Jay Berry pulled one back for Kelburne early in the second half but Clydesdale`s two goal advantage was restored by a rebound shot from Paddy Lonergan at a penalty corner. Kelburne`s reply was a deflection at another set piece by Ciaran Wilcox.
Clydesdale went on to seal the three points in the final quarter, a move involving Tony Small and McKenzie set up Fraser Hirst to beat the keeper, and finally Lonergan notched his second of the match with a tap-in after Jamie Green had set it up after beating three players along the base line for a 5-2 victory.
Dunfermline Carnegie move back into the top six after a narrow 3-2 win at Hillhead. Andrew Black put Hillhead ahead only for Andrew Doyle to level at a penalty corner. The reverse then happened, Iain Bruce put the Fifers ahead following a pass from Liam Witt , but then Tom Cole equalised. As the contest stood in the balance, it was Doyle again who secured the winner with a penalty corner conversion.
GHK may be still at the top of the women`s Premiership but their tenure is a bit more shaky following a 2-1 defeat at Hillhead who now move up into second spot, only two points behind.
A reverse weep by Molly Turnbull put the league leaders into an early 1-0 lead, but Hillhead levelled when Mhairi Low pushed home a rebound at a penalty corner.
Wendy Andrews thought she had put Hillhead into the lead at another penalty corner but the umpire eventually disallowed the counter. However, Hillhead did finally get the winner through a direct strike at another set piece by Anna Irvine. Hillhead held on for the three points despite the danger of three GHK penalty corners.
The reaction to the result hardly surprising was a little different. Hillhead`s Jenny Sinclair said: “A great team performance and I think we deserved the win.”
GHK`s Carly Bisset remarked: “I guess all I can say really is that it was a frustrating game, and we were just not clinical enough in the final third.”
Wildcats finally moved up the table with a 6-0 win over Grove at Auchenhowie. Olivia Finch started the scoring with a double in the first quarter, to be followed by another in each of the third and fourth quarters for four in total to be the catalyst in the game. Other goals came from Katie Holmes and youngster Lucy MacMillan. The total might have been much more but for the heroics of the Grove keeper with several outstanding saves.
Glasgow University moved back up the table into third with a narrow 1-0 win over Gordonians in Aberdeen. The match was goalless at the interval despite some chances to break the deadlock. The students stepped it up in the third quarter and at a penalty corner Katy Martin scored the only goal of the game from a rebound. Despite attempts by Gordonians to rescue the contest, Glasgow held firm and came away with the three points.
There was a share of the points on Tayside as Dundee Wanderers and Uddingston shared a 1-1 draw. Caterina Neill opened for the visitors and Amy Snelle levelled for Wanderers, and that was the end of the scoring.
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