A blustery Saturday in late October saw the Edinburgh City Gentlemen visiting the new Glasgow Honey Badgers to open the 2014/15 Scottish Premiership. Glasgow’s name change has done nothing to ease the long rivalry with its sister city, and both teams came ready to play right from the first whistle.
The Honey Badgers, built around a core of veteran players from Glasgow University, started the game looking strong. Their attack moved the ball well in their early possessions, and goalie Chris Riley (11 saves) made several big stops to keep Edinburgh off the board well into the first quarter. Glasgow looked about to score first blood on a fast-break opportunity ten minutes into the game, but Edinburgh’s Devin Oliver made perhaps the most important of his 15 saves on a point-blank shot by Niall Hamilton, and on the ensuing transition Ross Waugh ran the ball the length of the field to score the first goal of the game for Edinburgh. The Gentlemen regained possession after the face-off, and Bret Retallick’s determined attack soon drew a pushing penalty against the Honey Badgers. Bret took advantage of his own opportunity, and ripped a shot past the ear of the Glasgow goaltender for the first of his five goals of the game. Edinburgh’s attack took control after this burst of scoring, and put in three more goals before the end of the quarter to end the first up 5-0.
Glasgow refused to roll over, however, and pressured Edinburgh’s defence right from the start of the second quarter. On their second sustained possession, Glasgow’s Iain Murray drew an early slide and made a sharp pass to Corrie Bruce; all alone on the crease, Corrie had no trouble putting it into the goal for Glasgow’s first tally of the game. Corrie proved himself to be a true scoring threat a few minutes later: after picking up a ground ball at center field, Corrie dodged past his defender and shot a hard bouncer past Devin for his second of the game. 5-2 would be as close as Glasgow would come, however. Nick Duncan-Price dominated the rest of the face-offs that quarter, as he did for most of the game, and the Gentlemen went on another five goal run. Chris Wood finished off the quarter’s scoring with his first of the season, and Edinburgh ended the half with a commanding 10-2 lead.
The game settled down in the third quarter, and both teams traded early possessions without generating any real scoring opportunities. Edinburgh’s midfielders were eventually able to create favourable match-ups on the attack, which led to Zach Fuller scoring his first of the season off a pass from line-mate Alastair Lee. The Honey Badgers soon created some opportunities of their own, and Glasgow’s Tim Mottram took advantage of a communication breakdown while Edinburgh’s defence was man-down to place a shot near-post and bring Glasgow’s total up to three. The Gentlemen were able to regain initiative, however, and put in two more quick goals of their own. In the final seconds of the third Edinburgh’s Lee McCrohan caught the ball in perfect scoring position and fired a beautiful behind-the-back shot into the top corner, capping off his five goals of the game and ending the quarter in style.
Determined to end the game on a high note, the Honey Badgers kept the ball on offence for most of the final quarter. Edinburgh’s defenders were up to the challenge, killing off a penalty and forcing Glasgow to take outside shots that proved easy saves for their goalie, but were unable to clear the ball for any significant length of time. Glasgow’s Niall Hamilton eventually broke through the defensive screen late into the quarter and scored bottom-corner on a deceptive left-handed shot, but it was too little, too late. Shortly thereafter Bret capitalised on an unlucky bounce on a Glasgow clear for his final goal of the game, and in the closing minute Edinburgh’s Bill Buschle scored his first of the year to show he could play midfield just as well as defence. Edinburgh finished the hard-fought game with a 16-4 win over their cross-country rivals in a promising start to the Scottish Premiership.