Hockey: Grange gutted again after final minutes heartache

Grange hockey coach David Knipe
Grange hockey coach David Knipe
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Grange hockey have the summer to reflect on a season which promised so much but ended in a nightmare as they fell at the final hurdle in three major competitions.

Their final agony came when Bromac Kelburne completed a domestic treble by edging Grange in the European play-off final. That was despite Grange leading 3-2 going into the final two minutes of a tense struggle at Glasgow’s National Hockey Centre on Sunday.

Craig Morton and his brother Lee scored the vital penalties for the West of Scotland club to win a shoot-out 2-1 with James Nairn replying for the Edinburgh club.

Earlier, Grange, who finished runners-up to Kelburne in the Division One title race and the Scottish Cup, missed chances to wrap up the play-off and a late defensive mistake allowed Kelburne to level.

Ice cool Josh Cairns netted a penalty flick to level at 3-3 and take the match into penalties and Kelburne now represent Scotland in the European hockey League, the Champions’ League of European hockey, next season.

Edinburgh University women celebrated after making Scottish field hockey history by completing the domestic treble.

Sam Judge’s squad wrapped up the play-off title to add to the Division One crown and the Scottish Cup with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Milne Craig Clydesdale Western in the play-off finals at Glasgow’s National Hockey Centre.

The win was all the more pleasing as Clydesdale are the only team to beat the students this season and Judge, a PE teacher at St George’s, praised the squad for their application.

They won their semi-final over Western Wildcats 6-0 on Saturday and she said: “Eleven goals to one against in the play-off finals is very pleasing.

“The treble has never been done before so this is a significant achievement for the girls. They have been brilliant in recent games and in the second-half of the season.”

Meanwhile, Inverleith men are back in the top men’s field hockey league thanks to a nerve-wracking penalty shoot-out with Edinburgh rivals Watsonians in Glasgow.

Former Scotland star Derek Salmond kept his cool to slot the vital penalty to secure a return to Division One after two hard seasons in the second tier.

Cameron Pitcairn was also influential in the shoot-out which came after Inverleith were 2-0 down to Watsonians who led Division One after three games of the regular season.

Magnus Ferrier, a former Watsonians player, and Stuart Hatton with a goal five minutes from time to level in regular time.

Inverleith coach Stuart Neave said: “It’s been a long grind and it’s been hard but we’re back and that’s what matters.”

And Grange Edinburgh Ladies were promoted to Division One thanks to a victory on penalties over Erskine Stuart’s Melville after being level at 1-1 at the end of regular time.