Ryan hat trick gets Grange off to a winning start

Grange started off the defence of their Scottish National League 1 title with a stirring 6-1 win over Aberdeen Standard Gordonians at Peffermill.

The champions put the Aberdonians to the sword in the first half, the highlight being a hat-trick from Frank Ryan, Austrian Clemens Rufnjak along with Aussie Dylan Bean adding the others for a 5-0 lead.

Adam Walker pulled one back for Gordonians in the second half but Bean added another from a set piece to complete the scoring.

Grange will be Scotland’s representative at EHL ROUND1 in Barcelona from October 5-7, 2018 where they are in a tough group alongside SV Arminen and HC Oranje-Rood.

Grange’s win was among three games to be played on the opening weekend of the Scottish league with Uddingston beating newly promoted Watsonians 4-2.

In the other contest, Hillhead and Clydesdale fought out a 1-1 draw. After a goalless first half, Sam Hayes put the Titwood-based side ahead only for Ewan Campbell to level for Hillhead.

Next weekend sees Grove Menzieshill make their seasonal bow when they go to Watsonians on Saturday. Grove won the Scottish playoffs last season, earning them a place in the EHL KO16 into the bargain. Kelburne start their campaign away to the Western Wildcats.

Scotland, meanwhile, finished second at the World Series Open in Portugal behind Russia, earning them a place in the next phase of the Olympic qualifying process.