Western Wildcats Hockey Club 4
A new look Western Wildcats got the season off to a great start with a win at Glasgow Green against local rivals Hillhead.
Radical changes to the squad over the summer meant it was debut day for a number of new recruits: Fabian Goldie and Gordon Anderson in defence and Scotland Internationalist Andrew Sinclair in midfield. There were also welcome returns to the side for Rhury Smith and striker Ian Moodie; fresh from his exploits with the national side at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
It was a slow start for both sides on what was a heavy pitch due to the heavy rain, but it was the Cats who seized the early initiative with a goal from youngster Jonny MacDonald on seveb minutes.
As the rain continued to pelt down the first half descended into a scrap with chances at either end. 17- year-old Murray McDiarmid handed a start following a pre-season injury to captain Gavin Sommerville, had to look lively in the Western nets to keep Hillhead at bay. The hosts managed to pull themselves level with a goal on the 30th minute from a slick penalty corner routine. But it was Western who finished the half the strongest after as Gary Maitles replied with a goal of his own to make it 2-1 at the break.
The second half brought sunshine and Western dominance as the faster pitch allowed the Cats to play to their strengths with Sinclair and Marwaha pulling the strings from midfield.
Hillhead goalkeeper Jamie Frail kept his side in the game on a number of occasions with a string of excellent saves to keep the Cats at bay.
Moving into the last 10 minutes, the match was still hanging in the balance but on the 61st minute a penalty corner from dragflick expert Scott McCartney put the match beyond doubt. Ian Moodie put the icing on the cake on his return to the side with a barnstorming strike from top D to finish the scoring.