Grange miss chance to end playoff jitters

Hockey. Reivers v Grange.
Hockey. Reivers v Grange.
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Grange missed the chance to secure a place in the top-four play-offs after going down 5-2 to Western Wildcats at Auchenhowie yesterday at a catch-up fixture in the Aberdeen Asset Management first division. The Edinburgh side remain in fourth place but still need a win in their last two league encounters to confirm their top-four place.

Joe Simpson opened for the Wildcats in only four minutes, but, when their defence failed to clear the danger, the ball fell to Gary Cameron who forced the ball over the line for the equaliser. Wildcats were 2-1 ahead at the interval, 15-year-old Rob Harwood deflecting the ball home after Ali McDougall had made the opening.

With the Wildcats down to nine, Grange were caught napping by a breakaway. The ball fell to Scott McCartney and his timely cross was stroked into the net by Vishal Marwaha. Harwood made it 4-1 when he took advantage of a mistake by a Grange defender and promptly fired the ball home.

Grange pressed to get back into the contest but could find no way past Gavin Sommerville in the Wildcats’ goal. But, with six minutes left, they pulled one back when Matt Connor’s shot looped into the net. The result was finally sealed when Scott McCartney was fouled in the circle and Simpson converted from the spot.

On Saturday, Grange were comfortable 4-0 winners over Edinburgh University, Frank Ryan scoring the only goal of the first half with a deflection from a Nani Malgosa cross. Further strikes came after the interval when Connor put a reverse stick shot into the roof of the net, Ryan scored his second at the back post and Rob Barr stroked home a late penalty corner.

Inverleith were on the verge of a shock result at Auchenhowie when they led 2-1 midway through the second half, but then lost their way and finally went down 4-2.

Stuart Hatton gave Inverleith an early lead. They were the more enterprising side but sent three further chances over the bar. The Edinburgh side went 2-1 ahead through a deft deflection by Andrew Dane, but, within seconds, the Wildcats were level with another deflection into the roof of the net by Johnny McDonald. The heads went down as Douglas Simpson scored his second of the game and Scott McCartney gave Wildcats the three points.

Elsewhere, Hillhead maintained top-four ambitions with a single-goal victory over Grove Menzieshill, while both leaders Glynhill Kelburne and PSL Clydesdale won 5-3 over Gordonians and Dundee Wanderers respectively.

In the women’s competition, Edinburgh University moved up into second spot in the table after beating neighbours CALA 4-1 while Milne Craig Western went down 3-1 to league leaders Grove. Player/coach Sam Judge led the scoring for the students followed by Maisie Morris (2) and Camilla Lyttle.

On Tayside, it was Western who scored first through Fiona Burnet but, by the interval, Linda Clement had levelled for Grove. The Dundonians took the lead through a penalty corner by Louise Carroll and the points were sealed when Karin Belch added a third.

Watsonians drew 5-5 with Wildcats but Grange hit the basement after being crushed 5-0 by Dundee Wanderers.