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Inverleith bandwagon to roll on

It was mission accomplished for coach Stuart Neave, Inverleith sit resplendent at the top of the Subway national indoor league after the first round of matches, and his charges will strive to maintain the momentum going by seeing off Greaves Clydesdale and AMN Hillhead this weekend.
“Three wins from three potentially awkward games last Saturday was a good effort and we managed to play some good hockey, especially against Western, but the games also highlighted some areas for improvement which we intend to work on,” said Neave.

It was mission accomplished for coach Stuart Neave, Inverleith sit resplendent at the top of the Subway national indoor league after the first round of matches, and his charges will strive to maintain the momentum going by seeing off Greaves Clydesdale and AMN Hillhead this weekend.
“Three wins from three potentially awkward games last Saturday was a good effort and we managed to play some good hockey, especially against Western, but the games also highlighted some areas for improvement which we intend to work on,” said Neave.
But Neave is wary of complacency. “This weekend is about giving the opposition the respect they deserve, and a side like Clydesdale who can hold Menzieshill to 6-3 cannot be taken lightly,” he said. Neave will be hoping that his strike force of Stephen Dick and Chris Grassick, who scored twelve goals between them last weekend, will show similar sharpness in front of goal this Saturday.
Ironically, city rivals Grange could do Neave a massive favour if they can take something from their opening fixture with seven times champions Grove Menzieshill. Over the years Grange may have lacked consistency of performance, but they have produced the odd rogue result against the Taysiders.

“We will certainly be trying hard to cause an upset against Menzieshill, but it`ll be a very difficult challenge against a very strong indoor side,” remarked David Knipe, Grange`s coach.
Last weekend Knipe`s charges saw off VWS Dundee Wanderers 4-1 and Hillhead 9-5, but failed to maintain that winning run against Inverleith, finally losing 6-3. “We were reasonably happy to pick up two victories, but the level of performance was not as high as we`d hoped,” said Knipe. “To improve we have to be more patient and keep the ball for longer periods of a game.” After the Menzieshill confrontation, Grange play Glynhill Kelburne with the prospect of picking up the three points from the young Paisley outfit.
After Grange, Menzieshill have two further matches against Western Wildcats and local rivals Dundee Wanderers. “Three games in one day is always difficult, but we have a big squad which will benefit us this year,” said Billy McPherson. In the not so distant past, the Tayside derby frequently decided the destiny of the title, but Wanderers are a pale shadow of their former selves. Last weekend Wanderers fell to both Grange and Western, but more worrying for coach Allan Law was the fact that his charges only managed to find the net twice.
Western Wildcats had an up and down day last Saturday, losing to Inverleith and then beating Wanderers, so this weekend`s fixtures against Kelburne, Menzieshill and then Clydesdale could go a long way to deciding the nature of their indoor season.
The young Clydesdale outfit under the experienced eye of Alistair Bleach may find Inverleith too hot to handle, but should feel more confident to taking something from their other fixtures against Wanderers and Western, if they can maintain the concentration that took three points from their encounter with Kelburne last weekend.
It is a strange sight to see four times champion Dundee Wanderers sitting at the foot of the table after the opening round of games, this weekend they face Hillhead, also without a point, Clydesdale and traditional rivals Menzieshill. Some point here would lift the frustration in the Wanderers` management.
In the women`s league, if Grove have any aspirations to regain the title they lost to city rivals Dundee Wanderers last season, Audrey Sime`s side will have to put the shackles on Vikki Bunce. The Wanderers` playmaker scored no fewer than 16 goals in the defeat of Kelburne and Clydesdale.
“Although last weekend`s results provided us with high scores, we were not firing on all cylinders,” said Iain Strachan, Wanderers` coach. “We had as many chances missed as we scored, either from set pieces or open play, and we have still some work to do to iron out our movement.”
Before the Grove encounter, Strachan`s squad will take on Waverley and CALA Edinburgh, and full points here are crucial. But Strachan remarked: “I saw CALA play against Grove last weekend, they were very organised and worked the ball around very fluently, so they will be a real challenge. But if we play the game as we set out to do it, I think our strength going forward might be enough to shade it.”
After Strachan`s complimentary remarks, CALA will strive to climb the table with wins over Grove`s second string and Clydesdale, although the third match against Strachan`s charges might be beyond them. That being the case, the dogfight at the foot of the table could be between Grove A, Clydesdale and newly promoted Waverley Inveresk Trinity.
Both Milne Craig Western and Grove have games against Kelburne and Clydesdale, and form should dictate that full points should go to the title challengers.
Source: www.scottish-hockey.org.uk

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