Watsonians coach encouraged despite champions Grange edging derby

MIKE Leonard was encouraged to see his Watsonians side play better hockey despite losing 1-0 to Division One champions Grange at Peffermill.

Monday, 19th November 2018, 5:24 am
Action from Grange's win over Watsonians at Peffermill. Pic: Nigel Duncan Media
Action from Grange's win over Watsonians at Peffermill. Pic: Nigel Duncan Media

One split-second lapse two minutes into the second half proved to be the difference.

And the chance was seized upon by razor-sharp Scotland international Duncan Riddell, a former pupil of Leonard’s at George Watson’s, who rammed the ball wide of outstanding goalkeeper Luke Campbell.

Leonard said: “My recent theme has been on playing better and not necessarily concentrate on winning matches.

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“I think we’ve done that over the last couple of weeks and against Grange we created some good opportunities and played better hockey.”

He conceded that Grange had 80 per cent of possession and that they were the better side but Leonard, a former Scotland captain, added: “We stay competitive and that is important.”

Fraser Heigh had at least two good chances for Watsonians in breakways and Leonard said the irony was that his men are starting to play better as the first-half of the season ends.

He added: “We’re playing at a good intensity every week which you don’t get in Division Two.

“We need to play more games of this intensity and, hopefully, we’ll be competitive in the second-half of the season.”

Grange have added Scottish international Hamish Imrie to their squad until February following the close-down of the German outdoor league.

Dundee side Grove Menzieshill stayed in touch with Grange with a 5-0 victory over Kelburne while Edinburgh University were edged 2-1 at Clydesdale while Uddingston thrashed Aberdeen Standard 8-2 and Western hammered Hillhead 6-0.