Semi-final places up for grabs in men’s Indoor National League 1
The quest for a place in the semi-finals of this year`s men’s National League 1 indoor championship is a fascinating scenario in Pool A with only three points separating all four sides, while Pool B is on more traditional lines with Grove Menzieshill (9 points) and Dundee Wanderers (6 points) in good positions to advance.
Inverleith head Pool A with six points, only two ahead of Saturday`s opening opponents Grange in an all-Edinburgh affair. And the earlier league encounter also demonstrated that there could be little between the sides. Kyle Taylor and Charlie Jack gave Inverleith a two-goal lead after ten minutes, Callum Milne replied for Grange in the second half but they just failed to get the illusive equaliser.
Inverleith in their second encounter face a Clydesdale side that finished the league programme with only four points from their seven games, and in last spot.
But the Titwood-based outfit proved to be Inverleith`s nemesis, they produced a big performance in a 7-6 win over the Edinburgh side. Even more impressive was the fact they were 5-1 down early in the second half, and then Clydesdale scored six goals including a Struan Walker hat-trick.
So nothing can be taken for granted, and a repeat of that outcome would certainly put a dent in Inverleith`s aspirations.
The Grange versus Western Wildcats clash could also have a major influence on the destiny of the semi-final spots. The champions are struggling to find the same quality of form that brought them their first indoor title last season, and they need to win both their games to be in contention to defend their crown.
Last time out Grange took the honours with a 4-2 victory, and now hold a single point advantage over the Wildcats.
Western Wildcats would also have to repeat their 8-3 win over Clydesdale in their opening game of the day to maintain their semi-final momentum.
So it`s very much all to play for on Saturday in Pool A.
Grove Menzieshill look to be the front runners in Pool B with nine points brought forward from the league section, and that included a 4-2 win over second-placed Dundee Wanderers, here there was a hat-trick for Albert Rowling. A similar result on their first game on Saturday would secure a place in the penultimate stage for Grove Menzieshill.
Grove Menzieshill follow up with a fixture against Uddingston who they earlier beat 7-3.
At the moment Wanderers are in second spot, and even if they fall to Grove Menzieshill, have the chance to retain their position in the pool if they claim victory over Dunfermline Carnegie later in the day.
However, Uddingston could put some pressure on Wanderers if they can open their account with a win over Dunfermline, they won the earlier encounter by the odd goal in 15, Josh Cairns, Blake Hinton and Josh Baxter sharing most of the goals.
The relative positions in both pools will not be finalised until the last pool matches.
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