STUART Neave, Inverleith’s coach, is keeping his feet firmly on the ground over today’s three-match schedule in the indoor first division.
The big game is against rivals Grove Menzieshill in the final match, but before that the Edinburgh side take on bottom side Harris and Grange. Menzieshill and Inverleith share pole position in the table with full points, with the former well ahead on goal difference.
“We have three very different matches on Saturday, and the challenge for us is to continue our unbeaten run,” Neave said. “While Menzieshill undoubtedly present the main challenge because of their continued consistency in performance, we must retain our focus in the games against Harris and Grange.”
There was little between the sides last season; both won a league game each and the Taysiders finally took the title by the narrow margin of two goals. Inverleith turned the tables in the knockout cup, beating Menzieshill 7-6 in the final.
The only change in the Inverleith line-up will see the return of striker Phil Hall, while German Fabian Wolski is still out with a broken finger.
However, Menzieshill have the more difficult assignment in their earlier two games against Glynhill Kelburne, third in the table, and city rivals Dundee Wanderers.
The other Edinburgh side, Grange, are at the opposite end of the table with only a solitary win against Harris in the opening game of the campaign. David Knipe’s young charges may find Inverleith too hot to handle, but he will be looking to pick up survival points against PSL Clydesdale and Dundee Wanderers.
In the women’s league the Tayside pair of Dundee Wanderers and Grove, both with perfect records so far, go head-to-head to decide pole position in the table at the halfway stage in the competition.
Kat Cameron, Grove’s captain, conceded: “Wanderers are the indoor specialists of the league, but the most important thing for us is to focus on ourselves.”
Grove have the advantage of experienced strikers Ali Bell, Ailsa Wyllie and Nikki Kidd from set pieces, while for Wanderers much will depend on keeper Carmin Dow and Becky Ward at the back, Vikki Bunce in midfield and the penalty corner expertise of Sam Sangster.
In their other games Grove face Inverleith and old rivals Milne Craig Western, who lie third in the table.
Wanderers take on bottom side Glynhill Kelburne and CALA Edinburgh. If the capital side hope to maintain their place in the top four they must take some points from games against Granite City Wanderers, Western and Wanderers.