There’s a new league system for University American Football this season, with an elite national League and regional leagues for the teams who play at a lower level. For the Scottish teams, the lower level is the Border League which includes teams from North-East England too. This means they no longer have to face Stirling Clansmen who were last years National Champions and play at a much higher level.
Glasgow Tigers, who had a fine season last year, hosted Napier Knights at Garscube on 23 November. The Tigers experience after their fine performance last year showed and they won the game comfortably by 32-6 behind a strong running game. The Knights were a competitive force though and should show improved results through the season.
photos – Glasgow Uni Tigers v Napier Knights
Saturday 1 November saw the two Western Wildcats 1st teams host championship contenders at Auchenhowie.
Regular title winners Kelburne men got off to a quick start in their game, scoring very early, but only for Western to equalise almost immediately. Kelburne scored again before half time then hit a purple patch in the second half before easing to a 4-2 win.
photos – Western Wildcats v Kelburne
Grove Menzieshill, who have been regular women’s champions, started as favourites in their game but to the surprise of many found themselves 2-0 down at half time. A second half comeback followed and the Wildcats girls did well to hold on for a 2-2 draw.
photos – Western Wildcats v Grove Menzieshill
On Saturday 18 October both Clydesdale Western Division 1 sides had games at Titwood with opposition from the top half of the table.
Firstly the men played Gordonians, seeing their lead in the division lost as the visitors took a deserved 2-1 win.
photos – Clydesdale v Gordonians
Western women then played Grove Menzieshill, always an exciting fixture between two sides who have long been among the top sides. This was as close a game as ever with the only goal going to the home side in the second half.
photos – Western v Grove
Saturday 11th October saw three senior games played on Pitch 1 at the National Hockey Centre.
Firstly there was the Men’s Division 1 game between Hillhead and Watsonians. Neither side had secured a point so far this season so this was important for them. The game turned out to be fairly scrappy. Watsonians had long periods of posession but rarely created a chance in front of goal while Hillhead took their opportunites and won with a goal in each half.
photos – Hillhead v Watsonians
The next game was the Division 2 fixture between Uddingston and Alpha Data Carnegie. This was a more entertaining game with non-stop action and goals. Uddingston ran out winners by 9-4 to keep them in contention at the top of the table.
photos – Uddingston v Alpha Data Carnegie
Finally there was the women’s Division 1 match between Kelburne and Hillhead. After a run of four defeats the Kelburne girls were determined to get a result, and they eventually did by the narrow margin of 2-1.
photos – Kelburne v Hillhead
As part of Scottish Hockey’s Friday Night Light series, Western Wildcats and Clydesdale men played their Division 1 fixture under the floodlights at Auchenhowie on Friday 11th October.
Wildcats were 1-0 up after a close first half and they followed up with two quick goals early in the second. Clydesdale fought back through the rest of the game but could only pull back one goal.
After the weekend Clydesdale lead Division One on 10 points while the Wildcats are one of four teams just one point behind.
photos – Western Wildcats v Clydesdale
note: as these photos were taken in low light conditions I don’t recommend trying to produce large prints from them.
Following the double success of West District in the boys tournament the previous weekend it was the turn of East to dominate the girls tournament at Peffermill on 4/5 October.
There were seven Districts competing in this tournament with West, Midland, North, Highland, South West and South all represented at both under 16 and under 18 level.
There’s a full round-up of results on the Scottish Hockey website.
photos – Girls under 16 Inter-district
photos – Girls under 18 Inter-district
The 2014 tournament was played at the National Hockey Centre, with action over two full days on the 27/28 September.
Both the under 16 and under 18 categories were won by West District this year. East finished second at both levels, with teams representing North, Midlands and Highland also competing.
Full results are available on the Scottish Hockey website.
photos – Boys under 16 Inter-district
photos – Boys under 18 Inter-district
Back to the National Hockey Centre for more Division 1 hockey on 20 September.
The first game was a local derby between Hillhead and Western Wildcats men. Both these sides made the top 4 play-offs last season but for this year it looks like Hillhead will struggle as they lost by 4-1 for the second week running.
photos – Hillhead v Western Wildcats
Hillhead Ladies were on next as they hosted Edinburgh University. The studens demonstrated why they are one of the favourites to win the championship as they cruised to a 7-0 win.
photos – Hillhead v Edinburgh University
My third game was another local derby as GHK played Western Wildcats. The Western girls were well on top in this one, stretching a one goal half time lead to 5-1.
photos – GHK v Western Wildcats
The second weekend of Men’s Division 1 hockey included two games at Glasgow Green on 13 September.
First up were Hillhead, who had a top 4 finish last season against AAM Gordonians. This time it was the visitors from Aberdeen who finished on top. A goal on the stroke of half time saw them take a 2-1 lead and two more goals after the break gave them a comfortable 4-1 win.
photos – Hillhead v Gordonians
The second Division 1 game featured the champions Kelburne against Dundee Wanderers who only avoided relegation last season through a surprise play-off win. The game was as one sided as might be expected with Kelburne cruising to a 10-0 win.
photos – Kelburne v Dundee Wanderers
On the second pitch at the same time two of the top sides in Division 2 were playing. Uddingston were the winners of this by 5-3 over Erskine Stewarts Melville.
photos – Uddingston v Erskine Stewarts Melville
Newly promoted Hillhead Ladies played their first home fixture of the season against CALA on 13 September. For a while they looked like they were going to take a second win in a row, having come back from a goal down to lead 2-1 in the second half. It wasn’t to be however as CALA girls managed an equaliser before the end.
photos – Hillhead v CALA Edinburgh