Premiership wins for Grange men, Watsonians women… and Jack Frost

Both Grange men and Watsonians women opened up a six point cushion at the top of their respective Premierships, Grange saw off the threat of Edinburgh University while Watsonians beat Grange women… and the frost frustrated the aspirations of the chasing pack.

Grange took eleven minutes to get their noses in front and it was Aussie Dylan Bean that fired the ball home at a penalty corner. Bean again found the target to put Grange two up at the interval when he deflected in a cross from the left by Joe Waterston. Youngster Archie Stephen sealed the points for Grange with a tap-in at the far post. And although Luca Muller finally found the net for the students after a scramble at a penalty corner – it proved to be a consolation only.

Grange manager Martin Shepherdson said: “We are delighted with the win, I felt we deserved it overall as we had more chances over the piece, but we have still room for improvement.”

As a result, Western Wildcats slipped into second spot on a slender goal difference after a seven goal win at bottom side Kelburne. There were two goals each for Rob Harwood and Fraser Moran while the others came from Jonny Christie, Fabien Goldie and Andrew McConnell.

Hillhead moved into the top six with a 4-2 win at Clydesdale, courtesy of a hat-trick from Matt Carder. Carder`s double in the first quarter set the tone, the first saw him round the keeper and slot home, to be followed by a close range finish on a rebound at a penalty corner.

Then player/coach Yan Adams entered the fray with a third for Hillhead, he ran from the half-way and finished with a reverse stick shot that went in off the far post. Clydesdale pulled one back through Andrew Allan at a penalty corner for 3-1 at the interval.

In the fourth quarter Stuart Eadie pulled another back for the home side but the comeback was not to be. Clydesdale coach took off the keeper for an additional outfield player to rescue the contest but it only left Carder with the chance to roll the ball into the empty net for Hillhead`s fourth and the points.

Inverleith also consolidated a top six spot with a 3-2 win over Uddingston who now fall back into the lower echelons. The home sides goals came from Charlie Jack, Felix Schneider and Andrew Clark, Fahmi Khalid got both for the Lanarkshire side.

Inverleith captain Kyle Tayler confessed: “It wasn`t our best performance but the boys dug deep and got the three points. It’s the perfect way to end this half of the season.”

Watsonians’ campaign for a top six spot took a backward turn as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Grove Menzieshill – they are now back in sixth place having been overtaken by Inverleith and Hillhead. Fraser Sands scored their goal from a penalty corner rebound, but the Taysiders grabbed a share of the points from the spot with only 40 seconds left, converted by Chris McFadden

At the other end of the table ESM found the Houdini touch with a 3-1 win over Dundee Wanderers, they now move off second bottom spot. Jack Collister gave the Edinburgh side a single goal lead at the interval. A double strike from Fraser Sturrock gave ESM a 3-0 lead and although the Taysiders got one back from the spot it was the home side that took the crucial three points.

In the women`s Premiership leaders Watsonians overcame a stubborn Grange defence to emerge 3-0 winners and cement their place at the top of the table. It was only 1-0 at the break with an open play strike by Sarah Jamieson. And that is how the score stood going into the final quarter after Grange frustrated all Watsonians advances. But then Emily Dark scored at a penalty corner to be followed by a strike from Anni Arthur for a comfortable win in the end.

The chasing pack found that Jack Frost proved to be the winner on the day.

Frustration all round – Wildcats were 5-1 up against Glasgow University at Auchenhowie when the umpire called a halt to proceedings with an icy pitch.

It was a similar fate at Titwood, the game was abandoned after the first quarter and Edinburgh University coach Sam Judge said: “Frustratingly for us as we were 2-0 up.”

No such problems for GHK who were 5-0 winners over Uddingston and consequently move up to fifth. Lucy Williamson gave GHK a single goal lead at the interval with a second phase shot at a penalty corner that looped over the keeper. The same player then proceeded to score three more in the second half, a shot at a penalty corner, a back post tap-in, and then scoring at a one-to-one with the keeper. It was left to Margery Justice to get the final goal at a set piece.

St Andrews University are moving up the table again with a 3-1 win at Inverleith. The goals came from Niamh Burns, Hannah Coull from the spot and Ellen Sloss.

As well as Inverleith there are another two teams on a single point at the foot of the table following Hillhead and Gordonians sharing eight goals.

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