IT WAS a strangely indeterminate performance by Milne Craig Clydesdale Western on the final day of Scottish Hockey’s indoor women’s league season at Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth on Sunday.
First, the Titwood-based team disappointed with a 2-2 draw against Western Wildcats. Then they pulled out all the stops to inflict an unexpected 5-3 defeat on league contenders Grove Menzieshill.
And, in their third and final game of the day, a six-pointer against Cala Edinburgh Ladies, the Glasgow side contrived to go down 4-2, thus failing to leapfrog their opponents into third place in the table.
However, the first four teams return to Perth this coming weekend, to compete in the new European play-offs - an innovation that, should it not reflect the final placings in the league table, would certainly generate controversy.
Elsewhere, Milne Craig Clydesdale Western’s second-string team ended the unbeaten record of the Central League winners Waverley Inveresk Trinity with a 5-4 win over the Edinburgh side.
Clydesdale also beat Grange EL 4-3 to pip Glasgow rivals Hillhead Ladies to second place in the league on goal difference - although they cannot be promoted into the same league as their first team.
As for Clydesdale’s men, who have been relegated from the top flight of the indoor league, they would be more accurately described as inexperienced boys.
A period in a lower league might, suggested coach John McKnight, be a valuable way for the youngsters to gain confidence for the next time they find their way back to the top flight.
Some of them will be competing among their peers in this weekend’s U18 Cup Final, one of the features of Scottish Hockey’s new Gala Day at Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth.
If the Clydesdale kids can return from their match against Grange with some silverware, then it will encourage those who believe it is only a matter of time before they return to the top echelons of the indoor game in Scotland.