Dreaming a dream

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In sport, you have to dream the impossible dream. And that’s exactly what PSL Team Sports Clydesdale have been doing for the past couple of weeks at the conclusion of the first nine games of the Aberdeen Asset Management men’s hockey league.

Having made a less-than-convincing start to the season in the autumn, the Titwood youngsters looked as though they would have no chance of making the top five places when the league split for the second half of the season.

Then, suddenly, three weeks ago, fancied Inverleith stumbled badly, beaten 3-2 by Gordonians in Aberdeen, and dropped to fifth place in the table.

This immediately opened up the narrowest chink of opportunity for Ross McPherson’s team to draw level with Inverleith on points, though not necessarily on goal difference. But if other matches went their way, Clydesdale could leap-frog them into the top five.

Last weekend was the clincher. On Saturday, Inverleith played perennial league champions Kelburne at Bellahouston. If they lost by more than one goal, the goal difference equation would favour Clydesdale, who were due to play Edinburgh University on Sunday.

Kelburne strolled to a 6-3 victory over Inverleith on Saturday, which meant that a straight win for Clydesdale over the students would pitchfork them into the elite grouping - with no possibility of finishing lower than fifth in the final table at the end of the season.

So the Titwood boys travelled to Edinburgh on Sunday knowing exactly what their task was. And they fulfilled it beyond dissent. Centre forward Ciaran Crawford, a veteran at the age of 21, scored the first, and went on to score two more from penalty corners.

But, although the students eventually pulled one back, victory was sealed and celebrated with a fantastic second goal. It was one of the most stylish goals of the season - created by a group of Clydesdale teenagers who will be the future of the squad for years to come.

From defence, Gordon Amour slipped a pass to right back Gregor Hirst, who threaded a great long ball into the University circle, finding Rory McCann in perfect position to execute a deft shot into the goal. Final score 3-1. Mission accomplished.