Play-off victory secures promotion

Uddingston Hockey Club have clinched promotion
Uddingston Hockey Club have clinched promotion

Uddingston Hockey Club clinched promotion to National League Division 1 with a 7-4 aggregate victory over Inverleith in last weekend’s play-off.

The Villagers won the first game 3-1 at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre on Saturday and then defeated their opponents 4-3 in the return on Sunday to book their place in the top flight.

Uddingston took the lead just nine minutes into the first leg when Josh Cairns sent a drag flick into the top right-hand corner.

The Villagers doubled their advantage six minutes later with another drag flick by Cairns, this time into the bottom right-hand corner.

Uddingston were reduced to 10 men when Tom Hyndman received a 10-minute suspension after being yellow carded for a push.

Both sides had chances but the score remained 2-0 at the break.

However Uddingston stretched their advantage to 3-0 early in the second period when Steven Percy sent a front stick shot from the edge of the D high into the net.

In the 45th minute Hyndman received his second yellow, resulting in a red, and a minute later Inverleith pulled one back when McKenzie flicked low into the net following a penalty corner.

Inverleith had chances to further reduce the deficit but Uddingston held on to take a 3-1 advantage into the following day’s second leg at Peffermill.

Once again Cairns broke the deadlock for Uddingston with an 18th minute drag flick and Andrew McArthur almost added a second when his effort hit the post.

But the visitors did double their advantage when Cairns blasted home his second in the 25th minute.

Uddingston had chances to increase their lead but, as in the first leg, went in at the break 2-0 up and 5-1 ahead on aggregate.

McEwan made it 3-0 in the 44th minute with a reverse stick shot from a tight before McKenzie pulled one back for the home side two minutes later.

However any nerves were settled in the 68th minute when Cairns completed his hat-trick with a flick from the right side of the D.

McKenzie netted again a minute later and Inverleith reduced the deficit further near the end but there was no way back and the final whistle sparked Uddingston celebrations as their promotion was confirmed.