INVERLEITH hockey club may have missed out on European qualification, but coach Stuart Neave is refusing to be downbeat, proclaiming that his side are on the up.
The Edinburgh club were pipped to the coveted European spot by Dundee’s Grove Menzieshill, who prevailed in Saturday’s indoor hockey play-offs. They now travel to Vienna for the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy this weekend.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Inverleith, who finished second in the league without losing a match. Neave, however, believes his team, who were without key players Andrew Sinclair, Fabian Wolski and Phil Hall, can topple Grove in future.
He said: “We did what we could with the resources we had and the guys put in a tremendous effort. We’ve developed as a club and we pushed Grove all the way in the league and the play-offs – we have to be proud of that. It is frustrating to miss out as we wanted to play in the highest level of European hockey, but we wish Grove luck this week.”
Inverleith’s 3-2 defeat in the play-off final in Perth was their first domestically indoors for 30 games and Grove had to come from behind. Tom Cousins gave under-strength Inverleith the lead, only for Gavin Tomlinson to level and Chris Wilson to fire Grove ahead. Olympian Graham Moodie tied things up at 2-2 before half-time, but it was Tomlinson’s second which secured the victory.
Chris Anderson, Grove’s coach, said: “Credit to Inverleith, they pushed us but we stuck to our game plan.”
Inverleith had accounted for Grange 3-2 in their semi-final.
Meanwhile, Kirsten Peters claimed four goals as George Watson’s beat Strathallan 7-2 to win the under-18 girls’ indoor cup final. Grange beat Clydesdale 5-3 to win the boys’ under-18 indoor cup final.