PREMIERSHIP WEEKEND ACTION AWAITS
The Wildcats are on the prowl this weekend looking to upset the order of things at the top of the Premierships. In the men`s they visit Grange hoping to rip apart the champion`s 100% record, while the women travel to Tayside to get their claws into Dundee Wanderers` title aspirations.
The quest for pole position in the men`s Premiership is far from a done deal – Grange may have a three point cushion but the chasing pack are hungry for blood and that includes Western Wildcats, Saturday`s visitors to Fettes.
Last weekend Grange preserved their 100% record with a 2-1 win over Edinburgh University but it was students` coach Graham Moodie who claimed his side had the better of the game and created more chances – yet in the end it`s goals that count.
Grange were perhaps not at their best and arguably fortunate to emerge with the three points, that level of performance may not be good enough against a Wildcats` side capable of scoring at will – 28 goals in six outings is testament to that.
However, the Wildcats were also a bit off colour last weekend, the goal machine mysteriously dried up against Watsonians and a single strike from Andrew McConnell early in the game was the eventual decider.
However, in this fixture current form, good or bad, is frequently not helpful in assessing the possible outcome,that is left to which side steps up to the plate on the day.
Second placed Grove Menzieshill have no easier a task against an Edinburgh University side that is growing in stature with every outing.
The Taysiders have made a solid start to this season`s campaign, although their defeat at Uddingston was perhaps not in the script, but Saturday`s fixture is their first against a top four side… to be followed by Grange and Wildcats in the succeeding weeks. Coach Neil Allan`s title aspirations could be put under scrutiny.
While Menzieshill have some game changers in their ranks, witness Luke Cranney, Ben Cosgrove, Albert Rowling and Jamie Golden, whether there is sufficient strength in depth to see off the better sides in the competition is yet to be examined.
Outside the top four, after their 6-5 win over Kelburne, Uddingston have emerged as the best of the rest… albeit by a slender margin. The Lanarkshire side could consolidate that accolade if they can see off Watsonians at Peffermill. The Edinburgh side won their first outing of the season, then promptly lost the next five and are second from bottom in the table. However, they can rise to the occasion, they travelled to both Menzieshill and Wildcats and only lost by a single goal on each occasion – that sort of form could pay dividends on Saturday.
Elsewhere, Hillhead would hope to continue their progress up the table at home against bottom side Dundee Wanderers.
The final fixture on the cards pits Clydesdale against Kelburne at Glasgow Green – both sides rest on seven points. Both have gone through lean spells this season, with a couple of wins thrown into the mix, so this might be a close affair.
The spectacular demise of former table toppers Dundee Wanderers last weekend was a shock to the Tayside system, and coach Iain Strachan was philosophical in his assessment.
“Bad day. lost 6-0. Got off to a bad start and never recovered. Played poorly and just not at the races. We need to pick ourselves up for next week.”
Well it does not get any easier for the former pace setters as fifth-placed Wildcats come calling to Dundee on Saturday. All is not lost for the Taysiders, despite the Edinburgh University six goal reversal they still occupy second spot behind Clydesdale Western on goal difference. A return to winning ways would maintain that situation with the title still very much an open contest.
Wildcats have perhaps made a slightly unsteady start to the campaign, they trail the leaders by five points, so player/coach Kaz Cuthbert would presumably see a victory on Tayside kick-starting their challenge. Encouraging was last weekend`s 3-0 win over a steadily improving Watsonians side.
Watsonians` coach Keith Smith was disappointed with the reversal at Auchenhowie which he put down to “missing some great chances and a few defensive lapses which gifted them three goals.”..
Smith has the chance to make immediate amends at home to Hillhead. However, the Glasgow outfit have taken seven points from their last three outings, so the Edinburgh side may have to work for their three points.
Clydesdale Western are back in pole position and their status should survive their trip to second bottom side Glasgow University.
Champions Edinburgh University have tucked away a couple of important victories against Wildcats and Wanderers over the past two weeks with former Scotland striker Amy Brodie getting a brace in each game.
The students travel to Tayside to face Grove, at one time this would have been a banana skin outing – and might still be.
The Dundonians have endured a bit of an up and down season so far, although their twelve goal experience at Titwood last weekend was perhaps an exception – they were short of both numbers and key players on the day. That said, Grove will do well to take something from the visit of the champions on Saturday.
Depending on other results, but GHK could advance to seventh in the table with three points from their home game against Merlins Gordonians who have still to pick up their first point in the top flight. After a bit of a lean start GHK`s young side have picked up a few points in recent outings and coach Susan McGilveray will hope that Saturday adds to the tally.
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