Showdown at Peffermill

Both teams are unbeaten, they are pressing for the
championship, and it is an Edinburgh derby, so the head to head
between Inverleith and Grange has all the ingredients of a cracker
in the Subway national league.

“So far this season we have won the pre-season tournament in
Cookstown, Ireland and have won our first four league games, but
with Grange finishing second in the league last season, Saturday`s
game will give us an indication of how far we have progressed this
year,” said Stevie McCurry, Inverleith`s coach.

“The Grange game is important to us, if we can get a result this
Saturday, then we go above them in the league,” remarked

Rob Barr, Grange`s captain, is still smarting from last
weekend`s two dropped points in the 1-1 draw with Greaves
Clydesdale, but still remains optimistic.
“We played well for long spells against Clydesdale, and on another
day would have won by a few clear goals.  If we play well
again we can win on Saturday against Inverleith.”

Barr then reflected on the overall scheme of things. 
“Western and Clydesdale, who we would have expected to be
contenders at the top of the table, have had indifferent starts to
the season.  However, Inverleith have started extremely well
picking up four wins, so therefore this game is crucial to see who
can go on and challenge Kelburne for the title.”

Grange took the honours against their Edinburgh neighbours last
season, the opener finished 5-0, Colin McIver notched a hat-trick,
to be followed by a comfortable 5-1 victory, but the vibrations are
for a much closer contest this weekend.   (11.00hrs at

Whatever the result in the Edinburgh derby, Kelburne are certain
to be the benefactors, and they will fancy taking full points from
the confrontation with newly promoted CALA Edinburgh.  
The Paisley outfit are back to their free-scoring mode, seven past
Western and twelve and nine against Clydesdale and Menzieshill
respectively.   The chief tormentor is Scotland striker
Alan Forsyth, he has found the net in each game, supported by
Michael and Jonny Christie along with Mark Ralph from the set
piece.  (15.30hrs at Meggetland)

Even at this early stage in the season, it is beginning to get a
little tight at the foot of the table.  AMN Hillhead are
sitting in second bottom spot with only a single point from five
games, but coach Keith Joss remains optimistic.

“We are striving to regain the form that we showed at the end of
last season, and I cannot fault the effort being shown in trying to
achieve this,” said Joss.  Certainly in last week`s game
against Inverleith we showed we had the tools to perform at the
high level, in fact we created more scoring chances than they did,
and that has been the same in the majority of our games so far this

Defence is perhaps the biggest concern for Joss, his charges
have failed to concede less than three goals in any game so far,
that needs some attention before Hillhead take on bottom side VWS
Dundee Wanderers on Tayside.

“Obviously a win would help the confidence of the team as
individuals and a unit, but there is a lot of hockey still to be
played and the league is very tight due to the number of drawn
matches,” said Joss.   (13.30hrs at Riverside)

Edinburgh University have made a solid start to the season under
player/coach Graham Moodie, and sit in mid-table.  The
students have the chance to consolidate their status with two home
games against the Tayside pair of Grove Menzieshill on Saturday and
Wanderers the following day.  Edinburgh have only lost one
game, against Grange, and their fighting 3-3 draw with Western
Wildcats last weekend is a sure sign of their continued
development.  (13.30hrs at Peffermill)

If Greaves Clydesdale play with the same commitment as last
Saturday in the 1-1 draw with Grange, then the Wildcats could be in
for a feisty reception at Titwood.  The Wildcats have been a
little off colour in the last year or so, but new coach Vishal
Marwaha maintained at the start of this season that he was in the
process of integrating some younger players into the squad.

Clydesdale have also been a little heavy footed this season, but
here coach Gordon Shepherd will have taken great heart from the
performance of his charges against Grange.

Grove Menzieshill are the team to beat in the women’s top division
and so far no one had come near to doing that. This weekend it is
the turn of city neighbours VWS Dundee Wanderers to challenge the
league leaders.  The five-in-a-row champions have rarely
dropped points in their recent run of success, but Wanderers did
achieve that last season.  Iain Strachan`s charges narrowly
lost the opening encounter 3-2, but returned to hold Grove to a 3-3
draw, the goals coming from Vikki Bunce, Heather Elder and Rachel

Wanderers` form this season has been a little variable,
certainly they are second equal with Giffnock in the table, but
they have already dropped points in a 2-2 draw with Kelburne and
then lost 3-2 to Milne Craig Clydesdale Western a few weeks

Ailsa Wyllie, Grove`s captain, made this assessment. 
“Wanderers have improved season on season and it`s credit to them
that their hard work is paying off.  We look forward to all
our big games, and we will be out to continue our winning form and
take points from our local challengers.

“This is a crucial game of the season, with teams vying for the
top spot you cannot afford to slip up and drop points.  And as
Wanderers finished second last year, we will treat this game with
great respect in order to stay at the top of the table,” said

However, with Grove scoring freely in all their matches so far,
especially set piece expert Louise Carroll who has scored six times
in the last three encounters, the champions must start clear
favourites in the Dundee derby.   (15.00hrs at

The destiny of the points in the confrontation between Giffnock
and Edinburgh University could come down to the shooting expertise
of former Olympic striker Rhona Simpson, seven goals in the league
so far, and current Scotland striker Sam Judge who has one
more.  Third placed Giffnock will start favourites, but the
students lie in mid-table with a couple of hefty wins under the
belt.  (14.00hrs at Hutchesons`)

In the battle of the Westerns, Milne Craig Clydesdale Western
should maintain their touch at the top of the table, but Western
Wildcats have shown substantial improvement this season under coach
Murray Laing.  The Wildcats certainly lost fairly heavily to
Giffnock last weekend, but then again Milne Craig could only muster
a couple against Grange.  (15.30hrs at Titwood)

With Glynhill Kelburne on a run of four games undefeated, the
Paisley outfit would look to collect three further points at home
to Grange.  (15.00hrs at Bellahouston)  CALA Edinburgh
recorded their first win of the season against Wildcats last
Saturday and the visit of out-of-form GHK could provide another
three, especially if Amy Brodie can continue her goal scoring
form.  (14.00hrs at Meggetland)

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