Goals aplenty as National League 1 gets off to a flyer
The first day of the National League programme produced few surprises, although the standout result was Grove Menzieshill drawing 3-3 with a vibrant Dundee Wanderers in the women`s top division.
It took a late strike by Katie Robertson to give Grove Menzieshill a 3-3 draw with city rivals Dundee Wanderers in a thrilling encounter. After nine minutes Grove Menzieshill were two up through Sarah Jamieson and Leigh Fawcett.
By the interval Wanderers had levelled, both goals came from reverse stick strikes by teenager Emily Dark. The same player looked to have given Wanderers the three points with a solo run and low shot for her hat-trick, but Robertson saved the day for Grove Menzieshill with a belated equaliser.
Edinburgh University started their defence of the Women`s National League 1 title with a 5-1 win over GHK. The goals came from Hanna McKie, Ella Watt, Katie Crawford, player/coach Sam Judge and Louise Campbell.
At Auchenhowie Western Wildcats got off to a winning start in their National League campaign. A single strike by Alex Stuart gave Wildcats a narrow victory over Hillhead.
Milne Craig Clydesdale Western moved to the top of the table with a 7-1 win over newly promoted Grange. There were two goals each for Heather Lang and Lucy Lanigan, the other strikes emanated from Heather Howie, Ali Howie and Emma McGregor.
In the final encounter of the weekend Watsonians clocked up an excellent away 2-0 win over Kelburne.
In the men’s competition Bromac Kelburne served notice of their intention to secure their 14th consecutive National League 1 title with an emphatic 5-1 win over newly promoted Inverleith.
Midfield playmaker Michael Christie may have been out of the game for a couple of years but he dominated Glasgow Green with a powerful performance and picked up a couple of goals in the process.
The contest went in Kelburne’s favour in the opening ten minutes, Ben Peterson was given plenty of time to pick his spot in the net, and then Johnny Christie found himself in a similar position and finished with a fierce drive past the stranded goalkeeper.
The Edinburgh side might have pulled one back but for an acrobatic goal line save by Kelburne defender Adam Bain.
The Christie brothers then combined to open up the Inverleith defence with a penetrating passing move leaving Michael to lob the ball into the net for a three goal interval lead – an early candidate for the goal of the season.
Early in the second half Josh Cairns earned a penalty with an illegal stop on the line, the Kelburne set piece expert proceeded to convert from the spot for a comfortable 4-0 lead.
Slackness in the champions’ defence allowed John Martin to strike for Inverleith. The Edinburgh side might have made more of an impact in the contest if they had taken advantage of their five penalty corner opportunities.
Kelburne then added their fifth towards the end when Michael Christie deflected a powerful free hit into the Inverleith net.
Grange, who finished second in last year`s competition, made a positive start to this year`s campaign with a 4-0 win over Clydesdale at Titwood. Under-21 international Callum McKenzie scored twice while the other goals came from Callum Milne from the spot and Dan Coultas at a penalty corner.
Western Wildcats got the better of the odd goal in five over Hillhead in a thriller at Auchenhowie. The Wildcats clawed themselves into a 2-1 lead at the interval, open play strikes from Fraser Moran and Richard Pollock were partially negated by a penalty corner conversion by Callum Duke.
Duke scored another set piece for Hillhead in the second half but the three points remained at Auchenhowie with a goal from Matt McGinley.
In the Tayside derby Grove Menzieshill came out on top with a 3-1 win over local rivals Dundee Wanderers. It was level at the interval, Ben Cosgrove opened for the `Hill but Elliot Sandison levelled three minutes later.
Grove Menzieshill advanced their cause in the second half with further strikes from Olly James and Gavin Byers and clock up a win in the derby.
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- Big results in women’s National League 1 opening day