Thomsons Cylces Kelburne 2nd XI Men vs Hillhead - Sat 14th March

Thomsons Cycles Kelburne 2nd IX Vs Hillhead 2nd IX

The Kelburne squad arrived at Glasgow Green on a cold Saturday afternoon to face Hillhead and looking to continue their 100% record. Kelburne were unfortunately missing a few players and only had 12 men for the game, whereas Hillhead seemed to have a stronger team than in previous encounters between the two clubs. Nevertheless Kelburne went into the game in strong spirits, spurred on from watching the 1st XI dismantle Inverleith 16-0 earlier that day.

The match started as it usually does for the ?Burne, maintaining the majority of possession but being unable to capitalise in the D. The first such chance came when Rory Macmillan received the ball in the circle but unfortunately missed his target. Another chance came when a strike from Matt McGinley inched past the post and away from the goal. For a long time, Hillhead struggled to get much of the ball, but after a series of failed strikes from McGinley and John Gerard Shepard, Hillhead came at Kelburne with renewed vigour, and the Paisley side were fortunate not to concede a goal under the Hillhead press. After seeing that Hillhead might be able to get back into the game, Kelburne began to struggle with the pressure, and seemed to be more focused on playing long balls to no one and individual dribbling efforts rather than trying to attack as a team. After some more turnovers from both teams, the first half ended in a stalemate.

Halftime ? Kelburne 0 Hillhead 0

Kelburne came out of the break determined to avoid the mistakes of the first half, and were rewarded with another chance when Shepard received the ball in the D in the first minute, but unfortunately missed his target. He made up for this quickly when he played the ball to Macmillan in front of the keeper, who slotted it home and gave the home side the lead. 1-0. Hillhead responded by increasing pressure on the Kelburne defence, but for the most part were unsuccessful in creating serious chances. Meanwhile Kelburne remained composed up front, and won the first short corner of the game, which Macmillan flicked into the net past the keeper. 2-0. Kelburne momentarily let their guard down though, and a scramble in front of the Kelburne goal with keeper Fergus Barrows stranded at top D was lucky to not to result in a goal for the away team. Kelburne responded quickly, and after a Hillhead short corner was stopped by Fraser Hutchison, some nice play between Harry Godfrey and Andrew Bremner allowed Macmillan to complete his hat trick.3-0.

The Kelburne team began to show signs of fatigue and the defenders found themselves under more pressure than before. After numerous short corners cleared by the ?Burne defence, one of which was off the line by Adam McInnes, Hillhead were awarded a controversial penalty stroke, which Kelburne felt was actually a foul in favour of veteran defender Craig Walker. However the decision stood, and Hillhead were able to win a goal back. 3-1. This goal gave Hillhead new energy, and after driving down the Kelburne baseline and playing the ball high to the penalty spot, Godfrey was fortunate to get a touch on the ball which deflected it off the post and off the pitch. At this point the match had degenerated into a running game, with neither side able to decisively break past the other. Closer to the end of the game, Hillhead managed to score another in the second phase of a short corner, but it was too little, too late. Kelburne maintained possession through simple hockey until the final whistle went.

Fulltime ? Kelburne 3 Hillhead 2

Hillhead proved a good match but were still not enough to defeat Kelburne 2nd XI, who?s next game is away to Grange 2nd XI on 21/3/15, which if the ?Burne come away from with points, they will have secured another league title. Hillhead will get another chance against Kelburne in the semi-final of the cup, but Kelburne are confident and determined to finish the season with their 100% record intact.

Harry Godfrey