Nine goal Western Wildcats avoid indoor Euro relegation

Western Wildcats avoided relegation with a 9-0 mauling of Slavia (Bulgaria) in their final match at the EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge 1 in Varna. The result left the Scots in second place in the relegation pool, and in safety.

Three consecutive defeats had put Western Wildcats in danger, but a devastating display of power play blew away the Bulgarians, as well as the spectre of relegation.

It was very much a team performance, but the highlights were the lethal finishing of captain Rob Harwood with five goals, the wiles of Joe McConnell who left the Bulgarians chasing shadows for the entire game, and at the other end keeper Gavin Sommerville easily kept a clean sheet.

Western Wildcats started by far the more enterprising side, creating several chances in the process. The opener came in eight minutes, McConnell`s dazzling run created the opportunity and 17-year-old Scott Menzies finished off the move.

Wildcats were in total command in the second quarter, the unmarked Harwood had plenty of time to pick his spot in the net to double the tally. Then Hamish Galt added a third when his penalty corner shot flew past the keeper into the net.

Just on the interval Menzies unselfishly crossed to take out the keeper leaving McConnell to fire into the empty net for 4-0 at the interval – and game over.

Two minutes into the second half Fraser Moran stole the ball off a Bulgarian defender, fed it on to Harwood who took his time to slide the ball under the keeper. Almost immediately after Harwood scored again for his hat-trick and 6-0.

At the end of the third quarter Nikki Homfray got the ball in the circle, calmly he took it round the keeper and slipped it into the net.

Further chances fell to Moran, Harwood had the ball into the net only to be disallowed, and Galt`s penalty corner shot went just wide.

But Harwood was not finished, with only a couple of minutes left he made it 8-0, then Galt created the move for Harwood to slip the ball past the keeper for his own fifth – leaving Wildcats just short of double figures.


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