On 30.3.19 - A warm sunny afternoon set the scene for the match between Kelburne 5s and Clydesdale 4s. Only 1 point separated the teams before push back with both teams looking for the 3 points to secure their position in Division 2 and Kelburne looking to continue a late push for promotion. Both teams had a mix of young and old and the game was played in an excellent spirit throughout. The first half was even and whilst the hockey was good, it was slow and had the feeling of an end of season game. The highlights of the first half was an excellent reverse stick tommyhawk into the top corner of the net from Tommy after he found space in a crowded D and a penalty corner conversion from Dick (2-0). Clydesdale played well in the first half and had some sustained periods of pressure, 3 corners in quick succession required Fionn and Gordon to clear goal bound shots. The evergreen Alan showed positional excellence in being available high on the right. However, his solid crosses could not be met by the forwards (something to work on!) Both team’s old guys found the pitch difficult and there were many spectacular slips and falls. A popular shout from the sidelines was ‘Dick’s decked it again’. Coach Willie was far from happy at half time and called for more urgency, a change in formation and a full press. The team responded and totally dominated the second half. This was demonstrated by young Rowan, second half Goalkeeper, not having to touch the ball and Big Gordon asking for his deckchair. Alan and Rory stayed higher up the park and Don was able to use his skill within their 25. Dick continued to dominate the centre of the pitch and Tommy and Jared showed both tenacity and skill in plentiful quantities. The size of the opposition does not matter to our Kelburne youngsters. Any second half Clydesdale attacks that got through our midfield were rapidly dismissed by the ever reliable back four of Willie, Big G, Jack and Ewan. Jack has quickly made right back his own and was excellent throughout in both defence and distribution. Kelburne attacked with precision and pace and Rory almost added to the score with two hard low shots, which were saved by a busy goalkeeper. The Kelburne pressure was eventually rewarded with an excellent penalty corner routine and a firm low corner shot from Alan (3-0). He almost increased his tally when a neat pass from the right gave an easier opportunity, but the shot was pulled and he ended up on his back - LOL. The domination and pressure continued with the second half subs – Iain, Andrew, Sam, Dylon and Hamish. However, despite a multitude of circle penetrations, shots and penalty corners the score remained the same. The Clydesdale Goalkeeper was without doubt their man of the match and made numerous excellent saves including several from an ever improving Andrew. Converting circle penetrations to positive goal outcomes will be a key coaching point in the weeks to come. There was a lot of attacking play down the left with Dylon and Sam interchanging passes and cutting through the defence at will. Kelburne felt that they had scored a fourth after a lovely finish from Sam from a penalty corner routine, but the far umpire thought that the ball had not left the D. At the end of the game it is Kelburne that’s is looking up the table with an outside chance of a top two finish. Giffnock are currently well ahead in second, but only have three games to play and will find it difficult to secure points from Hillhead 4 or the new improved GHK. Kelburne 4 and Rottenrow are 5 points behind Giffnock with a game in hand with similar teams to play including Kelburne 5s. Kelburne 5s are still in the battle, but there is a long way to go.