Hockey: Grange on track to hit two out of three targets
AT the start of the season Rob Barr, Grange’s captain, looked for a top two spot in the Subway national league, qualification for Europe, and to make up ground on champions Glynhill Kelburne.
The latter has eluded him, as the Paisley side have won the championship for the eighth consecutive time, but Barr is on course for his other targets.
With three games remaining, Grange are four and seven points ahead of Edinburgh rivals Inverleith and Western Wildcats respectively. That cushion should still be there after today as Grange take on a CALA Edinburgh side that are on a five-game losing streak and facing the relegation play-off spot.
Western Wildcats and Inverleith are head to head at Auchenhowie, and both coaches seem of similar mind – a top three place was always the bottom line target and second spot is probably beyond them now. As it stands, Inverleith are third, three points ahead of Western, but with a game more played.
Stevie McCurry, Inverleith’s coach, said of five dropped points last weekend: “We competed well in both games, but some poor defending let us down. Also we created some good scoring opportunities, but failed to take these. If we can improve on these things, this will help us towards a more positive outcome against Western.”
Western have also lost ground by drawing their last three encounters. “It was disappointing to drop points against Clydesdale last week, but it was a fair result,” said Vishal Marwaha, the Wildcats coach.
The winner today will definitely be front-runner for that third spot in the table.
CALA, in second bottom spot, are three points adrift of AMN Hillhead, who have a game in hand. While CALA are unlikely to get any change against Grange this weekend, they have possibilities in the final two fixtures against Edinburgh University and Clydesdale. In contrast, Hillhead have an awkward game against Menziehill on Tayside this week, then Inverleith and Western to finish.
In the women’s league, Grove Menzieshill are in pole position, but only a point ahead of Milne Craig Western. “We remain focused on our results and don’t rely on other teams’ performances,” said captain Ailsa Wyllie.
Today’s Tayside derby against VWS Dundee Wanderers is a potential banana skin for the champions. Earlier in the season the teams drew 2-2, and a similar result is likely to donate the title to Western. The Glasgow side take on the Wildcats, and should take the three points to keep up the pressure on Grove.
The bottom two sides, GHK and Grange, who are a point better off, take on CALA Edinburgh and Kelburne respectively.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
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Temperature: 5 C to 11 C
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