Kelburne Ladies commenced their second game of the President's cup against rivals Western with a renewed air of confidence and spirit. The club knew they had to step up to the challenge without the aid of their strong international players Julie Bryce and Laura Wrightson and step up they did.
Kelburne dominated the game from the start with promising attacks up the right hand side and composure in defence. Good ball pace and maintenance of possession in defence coupled with early pressure from the forwards and some intelligent attacking play from midfielder Katie McKay (left), allowed Kelburne to open up potential for utilising their chances in the attacking 25. A relatively early goal in the first half allowed Kelburne to take the lead. This involved a confident line ball from Nicola Ralph up the right hand side to Kerri Nunnery who tore Western defenders apart with a speedy attack along the base line ending with a drop ball to Amy Hyslop who placed the ball decisively through the Western Keeper's legs.
The second goal involved an excellent attempt from Emma Barlow (right) at the left side of the circle followed by a well timed rebound from Hyslop again directed into the roof of the net. Western did retaliate with some dangerous attacks towards Kelburne's circle but some well timed tackles, channeling and tight zone defence dominated by Cath Rae managed to prevent any real Western threat as their frustration continued to manifest.
The second half took off with Western stepping up their gear. There were moments where Kelburne seemed to made life difficult for themselves by allowing Western to open up their attacking game. Western came back with a goal towards the middle of the second half when Lorna Dobbie found an early gap in Kelburne's zone at the top of the circle to allow Claire Scott's well placed right hand shot to see the back of the board.
These momentary lapses of concentration were steadily resolved through an increase of communication and work rate on and off the ball from Kelburne. Cath Rae was the backbone of Kelburne's defence with some outstanding saves and the consistency of this unit in their penalty corner defence remains one of Kelburne's relentless strengths. As the game progressed, the determination was clearly evident from younger players in particular Emma Barlow, Amanda Maxwell and Stephanie Kirkland who maintained possession and pulled out brave performances against an experienced Western side.
The final score ended 2-1 to Kelburne. It is without question that this was a well deserved victory for the Paisley side who look towards their Europe campaign now with a enhanced tenacity after today's game.