Euro hockey disappointment for Wildcats sides

Wildcats were unable to repeat their Scottish Plate celebrations of the previous weekend (pic by Duncan Gray)
Wildcats were unable to repeat their Scottish Plate celebrations of the previous weekend (pic by Duncan Gray)

Western Wildcats’ hopes of securing European hockey ended in disappointment with defeats for both the gents’ and ladies’ sides.

Both were knocked out of the European play-offs by their respective league champions.

The men were superb in their game against Kelburne in their showdown at the National Hockey Centre at Glasgow Green.

In the first half they went a goal down to a clever penalty corner, Josh Cairns cleverly switching the ball to Ben Peterson who found the net with a low shot.

But Wildcats dug their claws in and Joe McConnell’s strike following great work on the baseline by Rob Harwood drew them level early on.

Western then took the lead through an Adam MacKenzie penalty corner strike which flew into the net off a defender.

But Kelburne levelled when Cairns flicked the ball into the roof from a penalty stroke.

At this stage the teams were trading blows in a very even game and each had chances to take the lead before half time.

The second half saw Western cede possession for long periods, only looking dangerous intermittently on the break.

Wildcats could have taken advantage of Kelburne’s failire to press home their dominance, but Rob Harwood narrowly failed to make contact with a dangerous cross.

At the other end Kelburne had further set piece chances but Chris Nelson’s effort was blocked by the lively Gavin Sommerville in the Western goal while another Cairns shot went wide of the target.

The game finished 2-2, meaning penalties with Kelburne drawing on their experience to win very comfortably, 3-1.

Adam MacKenzie was Western’s only scorer while the Paisley side slotted all of theirs, through Chris Nelson along with Craig and Lee Morton.

Overall Wildcats had no complaints about Kelburne going through to the following day’s final, but every man in a Western shirt could take pride in his performance.

The girls went into their game against Edinburgh University at Peffermill with high hopes of causing an upset.

Sadly, pretty much everything that could have gone wrong did and they were 4-0 down and toiling at half-time.

They rallied a little in the second half and created chances but the students added to their tally to run out 6-0 winners.

While it was a desperately disappointing end, it has been a fabulous season for Wildcats. They had their top four spot stitched up very early on and have proven themselves worthy of their place in the play-offs.