Hockey: Rory McCann double helps keep Grange in touch at top

A Rory McCann double kept second-placed Grange in touch with men’s hockey Premiership pace-setters Western in a 4-2 win over Clydesdale in Edinburgh.

Grange are five points adrift after Western’s 6-0 home win over Watsonians, but the Edinburgh side claimed an early 2-0 lead over Clydesdale thanks to goals from Fraser Heigh and 16-year-old Murray Banks.

The hard-working Glasgow combine hit back to level before the break, Andy McCallan and Ali Douglas netting, and Grange were under real pressure in the third quarter before two quick goals from McCann killed off the entertaining game, during which Clydesdale goalkeepers Callum Douglas and Sean Mahonney pulled off some fine saves.

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At the other end, 16-year-old stand-in goalkeeper Tom Shanks also made some telling stops in only his fifth senior game of the season.

Grange skipper Alan Johnston, in white, in action against Clydesdale. Picture: Nigel Duncan

Grange manager Martin Shepherdson said: “We started well and Clydesdale worked hard to get back into the game at 2-2, but we came through and the win keeps us knocking at the door.”

In Glasgow, Scotland squad player Hamish Galt claimed a treble with Scotland under-21 player Fraser Moran firing two and senior international Rob Harwood also on the scoresheet in Western’s win, but skipper Gavin Sommerville said the victory was not as comfortable as the scoreline suggested against a well-organised Watsonians side.

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Four of Western's goals came from penalty corners and another from a penalty flick with one from open play.

Sommerville said: “We had more of the play, but were dangerous from counter-attacks.”

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Men's Premiership: Grange 4, Clydesdale 2; Western 6, Watsonians 0; Grove Menzieshill 2, Hillhead 5; Uddingston 4, Dundee Wanderers 0; Inverleith 3, Kelburne 0