Kelburne lost their opening encounter in this years EHL, going down 4-2 to Irish outfit Pembroke Wanderers.
They were on the back foot from the outset and can lay claim to conceding the fastest goal in the competition, when a defensive error was punished after on ten seconds. The rest of the 1st quarter failed to get any better and 'burne found themselves 3-0 down at the break, one from a fine move by the Irish and the other from a Penalty flick
Kelburne were able to stem the tide somewhat in the second quarter and began to make inroads into the deficit. They had several half chances but were unable to convert their pressure into goals. At the other end things had tightened up and Mark Fulton had to be at his best to keep out a couple of short corners.
Following some stern words from coach Derek Forsyth, Kelburne sprang to life in the third quarter of the match and grabbed a lifeline when a pass by Mark Ralph was latched on to by Ross Stott and he calmly stroked the ball past the on rushing goalkeeper.
5 minutes later Kelburne were right back in the game, when from their first short corner of the game, Mark Ralph fired home a trademark drag flick, which eluded the goalkeeper. The game was now very open with both teams having chances to add to their tallies, Ralph had another effort cleared off the line, while Fulton had to look sharp at the other end to keep the deficit at one.
The knockout blow came at the start of the 4th quarter when a contencious decision by the video umpire allowed Pembroke to score from their 5th corner of the match. Kelburne pressed hard to get back in to the match again, but perhaps a little too hard as they were reduced to 9 men following yellow cards given out to Johnny Christie and Willie Marshall. This allowed the Irish to run down the clock until the final hooter.
Manager Harry Coles commented
"you cant give away the goals we conceded in the first quarter and expect to win at this level"
Kelburne will be hoping for a better performance tomorrow when they face top dutch outfit Rotterdam needing a victory to keep their slim hopes of qualification alive.