Western Wildcats looking to add Scottish hockey outdoor title to indoor crown

Western Wildcats are eyeing up a Scottish hockey title double as they look to add the outdoor Premiership trophy to their recently-won indoor crown.

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Western Wildcats celebrate their national indoor title triumph (pic: Duncan Gray)
Western Wildcats celebrate their national indoor title triumph (pic: Duncan Gray)

Skipper Rob Harwood admitted it was a relief to get the indoor title bid finally over the line in last week’s delayed final fixtures

It looked at one stage as if Covid-19 restrictions might prevent the indoor season being finished.

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But they were eased in time for Wildcats to beat closest challengers Inverleith in their penultimate fixture and avoid going a last-round decider, when Wildcats’ fate would have been out of their own hands.

Harwood said: “That was always the focus. We prepared for it as though it was the final, basically, so we didn't have to rely on the second game and worry about goal difference and other results.

"It was a bit difficult because we'd gone back to outdoor training, as that was the only form of training we were allowed to do at that point.

"We only got one training session in before the deciding games, so it had been over a month since we'd trained indoors.

"They are almost like two different sports. Indoors you've got five-a-side, or six including the goalkeeper, and the rules are completely different. You've got to keep the ball on the ground unless you're shooting and the tactics are just completely different.

"But we tried to keep the outdoor training short and sharp and as much like indoor as possible, with small-sided games, and that definitely helped us. Getting that one session in, we managed to blow most of the cobwebs out and we certainly performed well.”

Attention now switches outdoors and the resumption of the Premiership on February 19.

Wildcats top the table after 10 wins and a draw from their 11 games – five points ahead of Grange – and restart against third-placed Edinburgh University, the only side to take points from them so far.

Harwood said: “The big thing is consistency. With it being split into top six and bottom six, every game is going to be tough. There are not going to be any easy games, playing one of the best five other teams in the league every week.”