Unfortunately, the second half saw the the balance of play shift to Western as their superior fitness and physical strength came into play. This was a repeat of last year's game where Kelburne were out-muscled by Western's notably physical approach: Bryce, Morton, Carmichael were all on the end of shinty-style challenges that attracted no punishment of any kind. About midway through the half Western won a short-corner set-piece after a period of pressure and, following some confusion regarding the umpire's signalling, bulleted in an equaliser from the top of the 'D'. This was a well-deserved goal and Western continued to edge the game.
Western 2s vs Kelburne Mens 2s
1-1 (Abandoned with 10 mins to go)
The Mens 2s approached this game knowing that a victory would put them in a very strong position in the league. With a 100% record and Western having dropped 2 points earlier in the season there was an opportunity to create a gap. However, last season had seen Western grind the 2s down, 3-0, in the same fixture so the Paisley team knew it wouldn't be easy. The game also marked the last 2s appearance for Kelburne and Scotland legend Jonny Christie who had been sharing his skills and knowledge with the youngsters in the team while he waits for the top division to start. His all-too-brief cameo in the second string has been a pleasure for both young and old alike.
The first half started fairly evenly with Kelburne edging possession and creating a lot of pressure around the Western 'D'. Great chances fell to Ewan Carmichael and Lee Morton before the 'Burne took a 1-0 lead. Superb pressure from Morton won the foul and from the resulting set-piece, Bryce buried a switch from fellow 'experienced' campaigner Gordon 'Beast' Menzies. A major blow was losing Ewan Carmichael to a horrific hand injury resulting from a Western player following through with his stick. Although Western had their moments Kelburne went into half-time feeling confident of securing a result.
However, with just 13 minutes to go Kelburne's promising young defender Michael Nicol (right) cleanly tackled one of Western's powerful forwards who seemed unable to slow down at all before connecting with the defender's head. Knocked out cold for several minutes it was unclear just how bad his injuries were as it was vital not to move him and instead wait for an ambulance. Despite numerous, strong Western suggestions to move Michael and finish the game, it was sensibly decided to abandon the match at that point.
The game will now be replayed.
Next week's match is against Glasgow Uni 2s at Bellahouston at 1200.