Students of the game

Rory McAnn
Rory McAnn

IN TEAM sport, a draw is often a fig-leaf for failure, and always unsatisfying for both sides. And it was a weekend of draws for Clydesdale’s hockey men and women’s teams in the early-season cup competitions.

The men had only themselves to blame for Saturday’s 6-6 President’s Cup debacle against the students of Edinburgh university, after leading 3-0 at half-time at Titwood.

All three goals were scored by the unstoppable Ciaran Crawford, and he added a fourth in the second half.

But, while veteran Raymond Wrightson and former Glasgow university youngster Rory McCann also added to the impressive ’Dale goal tally, chaos reigned at the other end of the park after half-time.

Six second-half scoring shots eluded Clydesdale’s unhappy young keeper, who was substituting for the injured Stuart Brown, as the Edinburgh students gained in confidence with each rattle of the back boards.

Sunday’s away game against Hillhead also ended all-square at 2-2, but at least this was a fair reflection of the relative strengths of each side.

Clydesdale have now completed three of the round-robin matches in this league cup format, having lost 5-4 to Grange in a thrilling game the previous week. Skipper Ross McPherson will certainly now have to review his squad’s defensive arrangements.

Meanwhile, in the women’s Peregrine’s Cup, Milne Craig Western drew a blank against Grange Edinburgh Ladies, the 0-0 draw adding further frustration to the Titwood club’s hockey early-season performances.