Kelburne Duo Reach 50 caps

KELBURNE duo Chris Nelson and Michael Christie reached a landmark 50 caps for Scotland during the national side?s four team tournament in Poland.
But despite a sensational display from the duo and their Paisley team-mates, the Bravehearts were forced to settle for the silver medal at the competition in Poznan.
Both Chris and Michael joined Niall Stott, Johnny Christie, Kenny Bain, Iain Scholefield and Mark Ralph as the Kelburne contingent in the senior men?s squad.
And every one of them played a big part in the warm-up tournament to the European Nations Trophy, which take place in Lisbon next month.
Scotland?s men defeated Austria 4-1 in the first game- despite a torrential downpour which caused the game to be suspended after 15 minutes.
Austria had taken the lead in the first 24 seconds when they scored from the push-back without Scottish intervention.

But a Mark Ralph drag-flick at a penalty corner in the seventh minute restored the equilibrium before the arrival of the electrical storm.
There were no further goals in the resumed first half, and there were several scorned chances for Scotland to score in the early minutes of the second half.
But breakthrough came in the 43rd minute with a ragged attempt at goal by Iain Scholefield, which was deflected in by a sliding defender.
Ten minutes later, the goal of the game was set up by Stephen Dick and Vishal Marwaha, allowing Gareth Hall to execute a controlled sliding deflection into the goal.
And Michael Christie made the final score 4-1 following up an overtime penalty corner drag-flick by Ralph.
Scottish manager Eugene Connolly said: ?We leaned a lot about Austria, whom we may meet at the crossover stage of the European Nations Trophy in Lisbon, and we had some valuable selection pointers from the game itself.?
Kelburne?s men then rattled up a four-goal lead for Scotland against Italy in their second-round game in Poznan.
Two identikit drag-flick goals by Mark Ralph at penalty corners gave the Scots a useful start, and the second of these was quickly followed by strikes by Iain Scholefield- whose mis-hit completely wrong-footed the Italian goalkeeper- and Chris Nelson, who followed up a good save of the initial shot by Stephen Dick with a fierce reverse-stick shot into the back of the net.
The first ten minutes of the second half produced more chances for Nelson, Johnny Christie and Kenny Bain, but without any of them being converted.

Italy pulled one back, though, when the Scots? expectation of an injury stoppage did not materialise.
And, with five minutes remaining, an initial save by Scotland keeper Ali McGregor was put away at the third attempt for a 4-2 finish.
?It was a good first 45 minutes,? said manager Eugene Connolly.
?But we needed to convert a higher percentage of our opportunities into goals.?
The final game saw the Kelburne pair of Chris Nelson and Michael Christie reach the 50 caps mark, but they had to be content with silver medals too, after the Scots lost to hosts Poland 2-0.
A mix up in the Scottish defence combined with a poor attempted clearance gifted the Poles an opening goal in 10 minutes, but both Gareth Hall and Stephen Dick spurned chances to get back on level terms.
Poland went two up from a penalty corner in 25 minutes, but Scotland?s woes were highlighted in the dying seconds of the half when Christie fired the ball towards goal- but the hooter agonisingly sounded before the ball could cross the Polish goal line.
The second period was a fairly evenly contested affair, the only real chance falling to Kelburne`s Kenny Bain, who elected to fire directly at the Polish goalkeeper.
Manager Eugene Connolly said afterwards: ?This was an encouraging performance despite the result, our shape and style was good, but we need to perfect our execution in front of goal.?

The Kelburne players will now await to see if they have done enough to merit inclusion into the European Nations squad for Lisbon and that pool of players will be announced in due course.