Saturday, September 8th saw the opening game of the season in National League Division 2 for the Kelburne Ladies 1s against Edinburgh Hockey Club Cala Ladies 1s. Having taken the opportunity to get some solid pre-season fitness and training under their belts during the summer break, the ladies were keen to get the new season underway. Head Coach, David Westwood, took the opportunity to introduce some new faces, with Holly Hendry and Philippa Saddler making promising debuts, alongside more established players. Kelburne took a little while to settle into the game and Cala looked the more dangerous team from the start, forcing Kelburne goalkeeper Emily Irving into action with some good saves. However, Cala’s eagerness saw them begin to make mistakes, fatally in the D which saw Kelburne win a penalty corner, stopped with precision by Catherine McLauchlan and converted through a reverse stick strike by midfielder Lucy Bliss. Bliss then converted her second with a drag flick at waist height leaving the goalie the only option of watching the ball fly past her. Cala quickly went onto the offensive and pulled one back much to the angst of the watching supporters. However, with a tackle on Drew Berry that saw her brought down in the box, opportunity presented itself and Berry calmly converted a penalty flick. Half time score 3-1 Kelburne.
Revived, a rejuvenated Cala again went into the offence and some frenetic action in the D saw an almost unavoidable deflection by the Kelburne defence, causing an own goal. The scoreline was quickly adjusted again however by Megan Ralph with a beautiful unmarked run and a strong strike to beat the goalkeeper, giving the Kelburne Ladies a little more breathing space as the match marched towards the full time whistle. The spectators were hungry for more and, with an encouraging cheer of “one more goal before we go home” thrown out from the stand, Jessie Cuthbertson took up the challenge and, in the dying seconds of the game, deftly slipped goal no.5 past the keeper! Final score Kelburne 5 - Cala Ladies 2