Hockey: No fools in this event claims Del Boy as Inverleith impress

Inverleith's players celebrate their last minute equaliser. Picture: Esme Allen

Inverleith's players celebrate their last minute equaliser. Picture: Esme Allen

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DEREK SALMOND claimed four goals as Inverleith yesterday earned seven points to be in a challenging position for promotion after Day One of the EuroHockey Indoor Club Trophy.

But the 28-year-ol

But the 28-year-old said: “We’re still got work to do.”

The Edinburgh side are second on goal difference with Ukrainian combine HC OKS Vinnitsa. French side Lille are setting the pace with ten points from two wins. Inverleith now square-up to Danish cracks Slagelse HC (12.20) and HC 1972 Rakovnik from the Czech Republic (17.00) today at Napier University, Sighthill.

And the Commonwealth Games midfielder said: “This tournament will be very close having watched most of the teams involved.

“We have a lot of work to do today and tomorrow but we’re into the tournament now and we’re unbeaten.

“We now move forward with a lot of confidence and that stems from the way we fought our way back after being two goals down to a quality Belgian side with minutes to go.”

It was Salmond’s quick thinking which sealed the equaliser for Inverleith with the last touch of a pulsating opening tie with Belgian cracks Racing Club de Bruxelles.

The medical representative netted with 0.02 of a second remaining to level at 5-5 as the Scots bounced back from a 5-3 deficit with less than seven minutes to go.

Edinburgh-born Salmond – nicknamed Del Boy – said: “Half way through the game we knew that we had to get something from this.

“The draw could be huge for us in the context of the tournament as the Belgians look a quality side.

“We always play for 40 minutes and we’ve been on the wrong side of close games before.”

Inverleith started well and had three clear cut chances before defensive slackness cost them dear.

The confidence of the Belgian side lifted after they opened the scoring after eight minutes and they held a 2-1 lead at the break, Fife-born Stephen Dick netting from a penalty corner after the buzzer to provide Inverleith with a lifeline.

Salmond added: “We controlled the first ten minutes but they then got a lot of confidence from the goal. We dug in.”

Later, in-form Salmond bagged another double as Inverleith came from 1-0 down to blitz Portugese side AD Lousada 8-3.

The visitors took the lead in the first minute but a goal ten minutes later from Fife-born Olympian Stephen Dick and a strike from Salmond five minutes later settled home nerves.

Inverleith turned up the power in the second-half, firing six goals and Salmond also hit the post as they turned the visitors over.

Dick’s two minutes into the period put the home side 3-1 ahead. Inverleith lost a disputed second in the 27 minute but the bandwagon rolled on.

Coach Stuart Neave ran his bench as Inverleith plundered the Portuguese and it could have been more had Hugo Santos not clear off the line.

Olympian Graham Moodie, skipper Adam Mackenzie, Salmond again plus two goals in the final minute from Andrew Sinclair and John Harris finished off the blitz.

Fife-born Allan Dick, Inverleith’s Scottish international goalkeeper, said: “We showed great energy in coming back from two goals behind to earn a draw against the Belgian side in our first game.

“That put us in a really positive frame of mind for the second. We didn’t get the best possible start but we came on strongly.”

Dick added: “We’re all now into the tournament and Derek [Salmond] is banging in goals for fun. Let’s hope it continues for the rest of the weekend.”

Skipper Mackenzie said: “I’m delighted with the start we’ve made to the tournament. Inverleith are a club who never gives up and to produce a comeback as we did against a top Belgian side was testament to that.

“We were a little disorganised in the first-half of the game against the Portugese but we stepped up and started playing around them in the second half.

“We ran our bench. We have 12 players in this squad and everybody deserves a place. We have to take what we learned today into the second day. Our aim is to claim two wins to take us into Sunday.

“Slagelse are a very strong side and the Czech team are finding their feet. We have to make sure we claim ten points on Saturday to take into Sunday.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Hockey have confirmed three-year partnership with Aberdeen Asset Management, the largest ever investment by a commercial partner supporting development of hockey north of the Border.

The will fund a team of high performance coaches to work with selected domestic clubs with the aim of increasing the quality and standard of players leading to stronger National League competitions in Scotland.

Results: Lille (France) 14, HC 1972 Rakovnik (Czech Republic) 3; Inverleith (Scotland) 5, Racing Club de Bruxelles (Belgium) 5; A D Lousada 2, HC OKS Vinnitsa (Ukraine) 5; Slagelse HC (Denmark) 6, HC 1972 Rakovnik (Czech Republic) 8; Racing Club de Bruxelles 3, Lille 5; Inverleith 8, A D Lousada (Portugal) 3; Slagelse 4, HC OKS Vinnitsa 4.