A disappointing loss for the 3rd XI this week seen them lose out crucial points that could have seen them overthrow league rivals Western, making the fight for the title that little bit harder. A good team performance from what may have been the lowest average age for the 3?s ever wasn?t enough to win a tense and controversial game.
The first half seen a goal drought from both sides, but the pressure on both teams was evident. At the start, Western pressed Kelburne hard, making them pay for mistakes and overloading the defence. Attacking was also made difficult, with Kelburne?s breaks for goal often being stopped in their tracks.
However, after a shaky start, the boys composed themselves and displayed some great hockey. Keeper Rooney is notable for a fantastic shift in goals, and the young players also stepped up to the challenge. But again, no goals were to come. But towards the end of the first half, things were looking even and anyone could have taken the lead.
Half Time, 0 -0.
The second half seen play step up a gear, with Western scoring from near the start. This was closely followed by an extremely controversial own-goal by captain Ralph who, despite some excellent work in defence, scored with his foot, which set tempers flaring amidst cries from the Kelburne support. The goal was given, so Kelburne kept their heads up and continued, 2 goals down.
Fuelled by revenge, Kelburne was stringing together some fantastic set-pieces, with McCrae proving crucial in the centre of midfield. It was a great run by Jason Cairns, assisted by the players on the left, which seen Kelburne?s counterattack. Swift passes and clever turns led to Jason scoring from an almost impossible angle at almost the baseline. 1 -2.
Spirits lifted, the boys kept up this play up. The young defensive line of Godfrey, C. Morton, MacKay and Lindsay moved the ball well, and captain Ralph made some fantastic plays, keeping the pressure on their opponents. A chance break from Western however put a dampener on this, by adding a third goal to their total. 1 -3.
With time nearing the last quarter of the match, the 3?s took control. Edgar and L. Morton?s speed came useful in winning and transporting plays along the lines, while Connor and McInnes at the forward line continued to press the goal. And after a dazzling set-piece by the youngsters, it was McInnes who seized the opportunity to send the ball right through the keeper?s legs. 2 -3.
Coming close to a draw, Kelburne were stopped in their tracks by some on-pitch trouble. As tempers broke, a long scuffle resulted, which ended with Kelburne?s keeper Rooney amazingly being sent off, to the shock and horror of Kelburne?s players and fans. Through the controversy, C. Morton stepped in as kicking back. A reshuffle to the Kelburne positioning wasn?t enough to net late equaliser, and the game ended in bitter loss for the 3?s.
Full Time 2 - 3.
Despite losing, the boys witnessed what the new younger team can do. Some unpopular decisions from the lines tarnished an otherwise great performance by the 3?s. Captain Ralph praised the team?s working together and is looking forward to building on this next week, and to obtaining the result that they deserve. Special mention to youngster Brodie MacKay who was a star turn at centre back.