Western Wildcats had a much anticipated Glasgow derby against their Southside rivals which as expected, turned out to be a hotly contested affair.
The match started in spectacular fashion with an early Western goal from 17-year-old Joe McConnell.
The Scotland Under 21 star latched onto a bouncing ball on the left hand side of the D and dispatched a bullet of a strike across ‘Dale goalkeeper Andrew Scobie and into the far side of the net.
It was the quick start that coach Harry Dunlop had demanded and an early blow for the opposition. Nevertheless, Clydesdale rallied and enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and territory in the first half.
With Western struggling to get the ball out from the back, Clydesdale forced a number of opportunities and Wildcats goalkeeper Gavin Sommerville had to look sharp to snuff out several penalty corner strikes. Eventually one was to get through, but not before Western had scored a penalty corner of their own through a drag flick from Ross Clunie.
Ciaran Crawford pulled a goal back for Clydesdale and it was Western who were left hanging on towards the end of the first half as ‘Dale continued to make inroads.
The second half began in a similar vein and the game was descending into a real battle. Good work followed from the visitors backline of Smith, MacLeod, Maitles, Goldie and Anderson. with Gary Maitles named Man of the Match for his defensive exploits.
In the last 25 minutes of the game Western stepped up a gear and extended their advantage on the 55th minute through another penalty corner strike from Ross Clunie. He has now picked up 3 goals in 2 games. The match was put beyond doubt minutes later with a barnstorming strike from veteran forward Scott McCartney finished the scoring.
The win might have seen Western rise to second place in the table, but an unexpected victory for Grange against champions-elect Bromac Kelburne means they remain in third.
With four matches left to play, it’s very much game on in the race to the end of season playoffs and the chance to qualify for Europe next season.
This Sunday Western take a break from league action to play Aberdeen side Gordonians in a Scottish Cup quarter final at Auchenhowie. Push back is 2pm and all support is very welcome.