Scotland: No change at the top of the Women`s Premiership

In the top six there were wins for Watsonians, Wildcats, Edinburgh University, Clydesdale Western and Grange to ensure little change at the top of the women`s Premiership as they go into the final matches of 2023. However, in the only game in the men`s competition Clydesdale gave themselves a top six lifeline with a 3-1 win over Grove Menzieshill.

There seems to be no stopping Watsonians inevitable progress to another championship title after their 1-0 home win over GHK to maintain their perfect record.

The only goal came in the final quarter with a penalty corner strike by Emily Dark. But the champions were made to work hard for their three points.

Watsonians coach Keith Smith praised GHK for their contribution to the contest. “It was a competitive game and we were made to work hard for the win, they certainly defended well but we did control most of the game.”

GHK captain Carly Bisset replied: “I`m very proud of the shift the team put in and the overall performance.”

Second placed Wildcats kept up the pressure with a 4-3 win at Uddingston. The Cats went two up in the first half through Rachel Bain who tore through the Uddy defence to score followed by Kate Holmes at the penalty corner, although Uddingston did pull one back before the interval through Lexie MacMillan.

The Cats dug in to go 4-1 up in the third quarter through Lucy MacMillan who finished off a great team effort and then Holmes scored again from another penalty corner. The plain sailing didn`t last as Uddingston retaliated with two late goals from Lucy Hogarth at a penalty corner and then Olivia Mullen. In the final minutes Uddingston pulled off their keeper and it was a tense finish, but there was no further scoring and the Cats triumphed.

No such late-match drama for Edinburgh University as they were 15-0 winners over Gordonians. In the avalanche Ava Smith scored four, there were hat-tricks for Jika Nyirenda and Amy Brodie while Neave Halliday got a couple.

Clydesdale Western continue their winning sequence with a 5-1 win at St Andrews University and consolidated their fourth place. The goals came from Anna Winter, Laura Paul, Annabelle Ballantyne, Emma McGregor and Heather O`Brien, Hannah Coull replied for the students.

Grange have confirmed their top six status after seeing off Hillhead 5-2, Hanna McKie got a couple and the others came from Emily MacLean, Kirsten Turnbull and Tallulah McMorris.

Glasgow University`s ambition to progress up the table was frustrated by a waterlogged pitch in their fixture against Inverleith, and they are now well behind the other teams in the division in games played – they have not been favoured by the weather.

It was a must-win for FSEG Clydesdale at Titwood and they responded with a 3-1 win over Grove Menzieshill. However, their top six place is still not secured, they have gone up to seventh in the table but must see off Dundee Wanderers in February to have a chance of moving up that crucial place – that may depend on other results.

The home side started off well enough with Ethan Robertson opening the scoring with a direct penalty corner strike, but by the interval John Donald had levelled for the Taysiders. However, the second half belonged to Clydesdale, in the fourth quarter Andrew Allan put them in front again from the spot and the points were secured in the closing minutes with a spectacular tennis-style smash by Stuart Eadie. Now Clydesdale have a three month wait to see if they will compete in the top six.

by Scotland Hockey

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