Scotland: Premiership split starts for the men while the women play catch-up games

Now for the split. In the men’s Premiership each side has five games to play and 15 points up for grabs – so the pressure is now on for both the top and bottom issues.

Grange, the only unbeaten side in the Premiership, are in prime position – they lead the table by four points and if they win all their five games they will retain the Premiership title – very simple.

However, they were held to a 1-1 draw by Hillhead two weeks ago. The occasion will be revisited when Grange come calling again at Old Anniesland, but will lightning strike again? Grange certainly put eight past Inverleith in the Scottish Cup last weekend, so they clearly have not lost the way to goal.

And there is also the Hillhead defence that restricted Grange to a single goal and kept the Wildcats` front runners at bay for all but the opening ten minutes in the Scottish Cup – it is clearly a key part to the Hillhead armoury.

We contacted Hillhead coach Yan Adams to find out his thoughts on the coming encounter. “I think it will be very, very difficult. Grange finished the last game frustrated and I`m sure will be intent in proving a point – any complacency they might have had before will be gone, so we will have to work even harder and play even better to get anything out of this game.”

But Yan also put a positive spin on Hillhead`s achievement. “We are in the top six on merit and we`ve shown this last week we can compete with the best. So we`ll have a crack and enjoy it.”

Western Wildcats roared into second spot, albeit only by a single goal from Edinburgh University, and they travel to a Watsonians side that have been in reasonable form recently, and now occupy fourth place in the table. But there is a little inconsistency in the Watsonians make-up, they beat Edinburgh University 3-1, Dan Coultas getting all three, but a week later were on the wrong end of a seven goal mauling by Wildcats; Adam Mackenzie getting three and Fraser Calder two.

This is not an outing Wildcats can afford to lose if they have Premiership title hopes in mind, and they may be without Andrew McConnell who is due to return to Hamburg for the second half of the German season. If Watsonians are in positive mode this could be a tricky one for the Wildcats.

Third placed Edinburgh University are at home to an Uddingston side that have made their way into the top six. The students are on a bit of a roll, winning four out of their last five fixtures, only going down 3-1 to Grange, so might fancy themselves for the three points. Although the last meeting between the sides ended in a narrow 3-2 win for the Edinburgh students, the Uddy defence may have their work cut out to stop a forward line that has scored 53 goals in eleven games with Keir Robb, Tom Cahalin and Alex Wilson being particularly prominent.


Scottish Hockey banner Grays - Scotland: Premiership split starts for the men while the women play catch-up games - Home » News » Premiership split starts for the men while the women play catch-up games

The bottom line in the lower six is to avoid relegation – and at the moment that looks like a tussle between Kelburne, Grove Menzieshill and ESM.

There is a backstory in Kelburne`s fixture at Titwood on Saturday. The Buddies have only three league points, gained in a 4-3 win over Clydesdale, and last weekend they made their way into the semi-final of the Scottish Cup, and that was the result of a 2-1 win over Clydesdale. So can the Paisley side made it a hat-trick? It is important that Kelburne start picking up points at the start of the split to avoid becoming detached at the bottom of the table.

Even more important as the clash between ESM and Grove Menzieshill will provide one of these sides with three points, or possibly a share of the points. The latter was the outcome in September, ESM`s Dan Moulin`s opener was cancelled out by Simon Huggon for a 1-1 draw.

The final clash in the lower split sees Dundee Wanderers visit Inverleith, both sides are in the top half of the pool. Wanderers had back-to-back wins over Clydesdale and Kelburne two weeks ago and the six points gained have taken the Taysiders out of the danger zone – at least for the moment.

In contrast Inverleith were on a bit of a roll with three consecutive victories, including an 8-3 win at Wanderers with Charlie Jack netting five, and they looked destined for the top six until they went down 4-0 to Watsonians in their final outing.

While the top six in the women`s Premiership looks almost settled, there are still several catch-up games following a spate of postponements in November.

Leaders Watsonians return from their indoor Euro experience for a double header, on Saturday they are at home to Inverleith and will hope to pick up the three points here, and the following day they travel to Auchenhowie to take on third placed Wildcats.

The Cats aspirations for honours this season took a bit of a blow when they went down 2-1 at Grange a fortnight ago, and they slipped six points adrift of Watsonians – so they need to take something from this encounter. But they have done it before – last season they were one of the few teams to take points off the champions with a 1-1 draw…so it can be done. But Kaz Cuthbert`s charges will certainly have to be at their best.

In the meantime, after back-to-back wins over St Andrews University and Clydesdale Western, Edinburgh University have moved up to second in the table, now only two points behind Watsonians, but with a game more played. On Saturday the students are at Hillhead who are struggling this season; they occupy second bottom spot in the relegation area.

The final game on the card sees Inverleith at home to Uddingston and the Edinburgh side are in need of points, they are on five, only one ahead of Hillhead.

And on Thursday evening Uddingston host Clydesdale Western, the latter would move up to third if they won the three points.


by Scotland Hockey

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment

SanFair Newsletter

The latest on what’s moving world – delivered straight to your inbox
Verified by MonsterInsights