Clydesdale 1 - Hillhead 3 - National 1 27-10-18

Posted by Ewan Campbell on 30 October 2018

­A thesis submitted to The School of Hillhead Hockey Club for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Field Hockey

David Gay MBiochem, PhD

Clydesdale 1 - 3 Hillhead              

Following a disappointing performance against Kelburne, the Hornets faced a tough game away to Clydesdale. The two sides had previously met twice this season – the league opener finished 1-1, whilst the ‘Dale edged a cup game 3-2. Both sides saw changes coming into this fixture – Hillhead welcomed back Matt Macintyre and Ben Walker with coach Ralph hoping to get a combined 70 minutes from the two of them, in addition to drafting in Grant Macmillan to make his first competitive appearance in his fledgling Nat 1 career. Iain Duke and Cammy Robertson were absent. Whilst the ‘Dale welcomed back former Olympian Graham Dunlop and ex-Scotland player Gordon Amor. Captain Duke demanded a minimum 10% increase in performance from each player compared to the Kelburne outing, knowing a tough fixture laid in store.

Hillhead started brightly in the early exchanges; Callum Duke flashed a ball to the back post – David Gay failing to beat the keeper with his diving effort. After that, the game settled into a fairly scrappy affair – Clydesdale applying pressure, pinning the Hornets in their own half, however the men in yellow were always looking dangerous on the break. Neither side managed to fashion any clear cut chances. Midway through the first half Hillhead won their first corner, Captain Duke flicking low across the keeper to get the Hornets on the scoresheet. In the ascendency, the Hornets pushed on – Fraser Ward having beaten his man twice already chose to cut back in and unleash his trademark GSOS reverse stick cross to back post. Somewhat true to form, said cross was at head height and hit Graeme Campbell who was subsequently taken to hospital (swift recovery). Unfazed by the loss of their talisman striker, Hillhead continued to turn the screw and a quick counter attack left Ross Jamieson unmarked in the D. Showing his true indoor pedigree and composure, Ross calmly proceeded to slam the ball through the keepers’ legs making it 2-0 to Hillhead just before the break.

Coach Ralph prepped the team for the inevitable ‘Dale fightback after the break and the Hornets held firm, Jamie Frail making  a series of impressive saves to keep the home team at bay. Next came the best opportunity of the game, a rapid counter attack saw Andrew Black play in Ewan Campbell for a simple tap in at back post, however Ewan merely shinned the ball into the goal with the keeper beaten. Would the Hornets rue this chance? It seemed so, when some slack marking in the Hillhead D allowed a ‘Dale striker to fire past Jamie Frail. Thankfully, Hillhead managed to weather the storm after the restart as Clydesdale pressed for an equaliser. With the game entering its’ final quarter, there was nothing to choose between either side.

With about 15 minutes remaining, Hillhead won a short corner and unleashed their latest short corner routine. Captain Duke, having sold the ‘Dale keeper with ‘the eyes’; slung the ball to the penalty spot for the sliding David Gay to deflect over the keeper into the back of the net. Video :) The less said about the celebration the better. 3-1 up with 10 minutes to play, surely Hillhead would show their maturity as a side and see the game out? No. In true Hillhead fashion, the Hornets took up their panic stations and struggled to string any meaningful passes together. This was further compounded by Stuart Allan picking up his first card of the season – an impressive feat given his large contribution to the fines kitty after his brief stint last season. Finally, Hillhead managed to get the ball into the ‘Dale corner to try and see the game out, however Captain Duke had other ideas, dispatching the ball back to the halfway line – inviting the inevitable counter attack from Clydesdale, who won a short corner in the process. The first corner was broken down by the men in yellow. Thankfully with the re-awarded corner came the final whistle, which the Hornets kept out for good measure. A tricky trip to the South Side had been successfully navigated with 3 points the reward for the Westenders efforts. The Hornets march on to second in the league and take on league leaders Grange in their next outing.


Everyone at Hillhead Hockey Club would like to extend their best wishes to David as he sets out on his next adventure in Copenhagen. Having been a mainstay for the 1st XI in recent seasons it is easy to forget that initially he quietly got on with business in the 4th XI upon joining. However, the best kept secret in Scottish Hockey eventually got out and David then swiftly moved up the teams, his endless energy saw him slot into the 1st XI midfield nicely despite his knack for falling over (probably because he runs so fast). A true role model to anyone coming up at the club, as well as busting a guy to get to training and matches David regularly helped out with the u15 development team and previously captained the 1st XI indoor side. Good luck David, we are looking forward to a touraining visit to Denmark for preseason!

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