Kelburne dominate but lose
27 May 2007
Kelburne bowed to the might of Great Britain?s ace hockey striker and penalty corner specialist Richard Mantell yesterday as they went down 2-1 to reading, battling for a place in the medal play-offs at the European Club Championships in Bloomendaal.
Nothing favoured the Scots in the first half, as Kenny Bain shot over the bar from close range, Jonny Christie induced a double save from the English goalkeeper ? who also saved Mark Ralph?s drag-flick at a penalty corner ? and a disallowed goal after the umpire ruled the ball had hit Christie?s foot.
At the other end, Mantell converted two penalty corners to give Reading the lead at half-time, although Allan Dick in the Kelburne goal pulled off a brilliant save just before the interval to keep the score within bounds.
Niall Stott scored shortly after the restart, and Kelburne dominated the rest of the game, with Stott and Chris Nelson controlling the midfield. But the damage had been done, and still nothing more came Kelburne?s way, with four missed penalty corners and another disallowed Christie goal which summed up the game.
The result put Kelburne into third place in the pool, playing France?s St Germain, the fourth-placed team from the other pool, in Monday?s final ranking play-off. The Scots need to avoid a relegation that they would certainly not deserve, and are certainly desperate to avoid ahead of the start of the new Euro-Hockey League in September .
Manager Harry Coles said: ?We didn?t believe enough in ourselves in the first half, and then in the second experienced penalty corner problems. It was hugely disappointing.?