Grange ready to break Kelburne’s 12-year stranglehold

Duncan Riddell in action for Grange against Watsonians at Fettes. Pic: Nigel Duncan
Duncan Riddell in action for Grange against Watsonians at Fettes. Pic: Nigel Duncan
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Grange hockey coaching staff have been taking one game at a time this season.

Now it really is crunch time for the Stockbridge-based club as they are on the threshold of making history.

Victory over Western Wildcats at Fettes on Saturday would confirm them as Division One champions. And it would also break Kelburne’s stranglehold on the domestic scene.

The Paisley club have won the league title for the past 12 seasons and last year also beat Edinburgh University to clinch the league and Scottish Cup double.

Alistair Brogdon, one of Grange’s coaching staff, and one of their most experienced players, said they have been working hard in training. He added: “We take one game at a time and this is one game.”

It is, however, a major one and their last league game of the season and Scottish international duo Cammy Fraser, the club’s captain, and Duncan Riddell will have key roles.

Grange top the table despite a recent 3-0 defeat at Kelburne, with 46 points.

Second-placed Kelburne are a point behind but have a goal difference of plus 48 against Grange’s 46.

The Edinburgh side push-off at 2pm at Fettes while Kelburne start their game at Peffermill against injury-hit Edinburgh University at 4pm.

Western, however, will be no pushovers and have advance up the table following a slow start. They are fourth and looking to seal a place in the end-of-season, play-offs.

Western have 23 points from their 17 games and have only lost one of their last five outings, a 2-1 home reverse to Edinburgh University.

Elsewhere, Edinburgh University are almost certain to be without central defenders Dan Coultas, a former Great Britain squad member, and Chris Duncan, a former Scottish internationalist who are both long-term injuries.

Watsonians, who led the table after three games, are now second bottom and they travel to Grove Menzieshill to complete their league season (1pm).

They have 17 points, the same as eighth-placed PSL Team Sport Clydesdale and Hillhead who are seventh, and the trio are one point adrift of Edinburgh University in the bid to beat the drop.