Scotland: Grange are just about there in the race for the Men`s Premiership title

It gets a little tense at the denouement of the men`s Premiership title race, contenders Grange and Edinburgh University both won but only by a single goal in the penultimate fixtures of the season.

However, the victories changed nothing – Grange are still a point ahead of the students with one game remaining – the destiny of the title rests entirely in Grange`s own hands, they only need to beat Uddingston next weekend and the title is theirs for the taking.

Perhaps Grange left their shooting sticks at home as they only beat Watsonians by a single goal, and that came from Robbie Croll just before half-time with a shot from the top of the circle into the roof of the net.

And that was that, and Grange manager Martin Shepherdson said, “It was a tense occasion all round, we dominated but created few chances, and the title is still in our own hands next weekend.”

Edinburgh University kept up the pressure with a 4-3 home win over Hillhead. The students seemed to be in the driving seat with a 4-1 lead well into the second half, captain Keir Robb scored twice while Johnny Bradley and Alex Wilson got the others, Murray Ross replied with a cleaver deflection in front of goal for Hillhead. But the Glasgow side roared back into the contest with goals from Yan Adams with a chip over the keeper and regular striker Matt Carder, but the equaliser eluded them.

Western Wildcats were in rampant form with a seven goal mauling of Uddingston at Auchenhowie, and they remain in third spot, still four points behind Grange. It was a goal for nearly everybody as Rob Harwood, Jack McKenzie, Adam Mackenzie, AJ Lochrin, Fraser Calder, Hamish Galt and Fraser Moran from the spot all found the net. Despite the defeat Uddingston are still in fourth spot in the table.

In the lower split Inverleith secured their status in the Premiership with a comfortable 5-2 win over Kelburne, Charlie Jack scored twice with Thomas Barton, Hamish Norval and Cody Adams getting the others.

In relation to the relegation play-off – it`s advantage Grove Menzieshill.

The Taysiders were 4-2 winners over Clydesdale and now jump into the safety of tenth place.  It was 2-2 at half-time, Luke Cranney and Findlay Duncan were on target for the home side. Grove Menzieshill moved on in the second half and sealed their crucial three points with further strikes by Ollie James and Connor Chapman.

ESM grasped a very creditable 4-4 draw at Dundee Wanderers but they still drop a place down to the play-off position.  The Edinburgh side were twice ahead, Paddy Crookshanks and Ally Dodge put them two up after the first quarter, and then again Rich Wright at a penalty corner and Ali Irvine gave ESM a 4-2 lead after quarter three, but it finished 4-4 in the end. Wanderers` scorers were a double for Kennedy Gibb with Bobby Ralph and Robbie Alexander getting the others. Ironically for ESM, Wanderers` equaliser came in the final minute.

So it`s all to play for next weekend.

Women`s Premiership in the women’s Premiership on Friday evening Grange and GHK fought out a goalless draw in a catch-up fixture – it benefitted neither team but the share of the points was a bonus for Western Wildcats who are now confirmed in fourth place.

The Cats could still have been overtaken for a place in the play-offs if either Grange or GHK could have won but the draw now that makes that scenario impossible.  The game was described as end to end for both teams, but no goals followed.


by Scotland Hockey

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