Keith Smith: Hockey coach who has taken Watsonians women to top spot both indoors and outdoors

Keith Smith is emerging as one of the most successful hockey coaches in Scotland with his Watsonians women’s side top of both indoor and outdoor Premierships at this season’s half-way stage.

Watsonians won both the Premiership and Scottish Cup for the first time last season and are on course to retain their titles. Smith’s charges have a perfect record after nine games, five points ahead of nearest challengers Edinburgh University.

Watsonians have scored 68 goals in the process, with Sarah Jamieson, Milly Berndes-Cade, Emily Dark, Ellie Stott and Ailsa Small regularly on target. Also, Watsonians have reached the quarter-finals of this season’s Scottish Cup after a 1-0 win over Clydesdale Western.

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At the start of the season Smith told hockey reporter Craig Madden: “Obviously defending a title comes with an element of expectation – from inside and outside the team – but that’s not much different to what we faced for much of the second half of last season. Once we’d put ourselves in a position to potentially win the league, the challenge was to see it out.”

Ellie Stott, in white, has been in good for for Watsonians. Picture: David P McCarthy

Watsonians also lead the indoor campaign, but this time only on goal difference from Clydesdale. The two sides drew 2-2 in the head-to-head, Jamieson and Emily Dark on target.

Edinburgh sides are also to the fore in the men’s Premierships, with unbeaten Grange topping the outdoor league, a point ahead of Western Wildcats. Indoors it is Inverleith, under long-term coach Stuart Neave, that hold sway after beating champions Wildcats 5-4 in the head-to-head. The return of Olympian Stephen Dick has been an inspiration but so also the lethal finishing of Kyle Taylor with 18 goals in seven games.

In the under-16 Scottish Cup, the girls finalists already include Grange, Watsonians and Inverleith after winning respective pools. There are still games to be played in the boys event but Erskine Stewart’s Melville and Inverleith are in the driving seat in their pools while Watsonians trail Grove Menzieshill on goal difference.

Sarah Jamieson, in white, has been in goalscoring form for Watsonians. Picture: David P McCarthy