Inverleith secured pole position in the indoor first division the hard way – earlier in the day they dropped two points in an unexpected 2-2 draw with city neighbours Grange, then recovered to beat rivals Grove Menzieshill 4-3 to lead by a single point at the half-way stage in the competition.
A strike by Olympian Graham Moodie a minute into the second half was the catalyst, with the sides level 3-3 at the interval. In a pulsating first half, Gavin Byers opened for Menzieshill in the first minute, but Inverleith then took the initiative with two quick strikes by Adam McKenzie and Phil Hall. Sam Tilston then equalised for the Taysiders, only for David Guy to give Inverleith a 3-2 lead from the spot as the interval approached. But with seconds to go a Michael Ross penalty corner tied the scores at 3-3 at the break.
After the break there was only one goal, with Moodie on target, and the remainder of the contest saw Menzieshill desperately pressing for the equaliser, but with no joy.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Inverleith swamped bottom side Harris 12-2 in their opening game with first-half doubles from Derek Salmond and Chris Duncan, while David Guy and Tom Cousins also scored for a 6-1 advantage.
In the second half, Moodie hit a hat-trick, Salmond got his third, while Ross Jamieson and Phil Hall also got themselves on the scoresheet.
However, Inverleith fell from grace when they could only draw 2-2 with Grange, and that only courtesy of a last-minute goal by Callum Duke. Murdo Elwis gave Grange a single goal lead at the break before Duncan equalised from the spot seven minutes into the second half. Duncan Riddell immediately put Grange ahead again, and with three minutes left Duncan’s spot effort was saved by Sean Hadfield before Duke’s last-minute counter spared Inverleith’s blushes.
In their opening fixture, Menzieshill overcame the mercurial Glynhill Kelburne with a comfortable 7-1 win. The contest was over by the interval as the Taysiders romped into a 6-1 lead with goals from Mike Ross, Chris Wilson, Ben Cromar (2), Ross McPherson and Gavin Byers. Menzieshill then took their foot off the gas in the second half with only Wilson netting, his second of the match.
Menzieshill’s second encounter was with local rivals Dundee Wanderers, who took an early two-goal lead through Bobby Ralph and Fergus Sandison. Normal service was resumed by the interval though, with goals from Allan Law, Wilson (2), Gavin Tomlinson and Byers to give Menzieshill a 5-2 lead.
There was no further scoring until the final three minutes when Wilson snatched another two and McPherson also found the net.
It was a profitable day for Grange as they moved up from sixth to fourth in the table with seven points from their three games. Their climb to safety came with a 4-3 win over PSL Clydesdale, courtesy of a last-minute strike by Gary Cameron. Fraser Sands, Matt Connor and Cameron again were the other scorers for the Edinburgh side.
Grange’s recovery then continued with a 6-3 win over Dundee Wanderers with goals from Murdo Elwis (2), Sands (2), Cameron and Stewart Laing.