1st XI Girls in Shock Cup Defeat

Inverleith         1
Kelburne Ladies 1stXI     1
Inverleith won on penalties 2-1

Scottish Cup Last 16 ? Sunday 14th November ? Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh

Kelburne?s Scottish Cup campaign ended in abject disappointment on a dreich afternoon at Mary Erskine School before it had really begun. Like a many top division side travelling to face lower league opposition they found their onslaughts met with plucky resistance from the hosts and some ill luck to boot. A frustrating game for Paisley girls ended a goal a piece, only for the woe to be compounded by capitulation in the penalty shoot out.

Kelburne were without key playmaker Kerri Nunnery due to a head injury sustained during the previous day?s league game and Claire McFarlane to a bout of itchy feet. Nevertheless with two league divisions separating them from Inverleith, a win was expected.

Eagar to assert their superiority from the outset Kelburne won two penalty corners in succession. Rachel Ewing shovelled home the rebound from Amy Hyslop?s strike to put the visitors in the lead after five minutes. The half continued with Kelburne on top, if somewhat shot-shy. Their dominance was punctuated by a few perilous breaks from Inverleith, who were keen to play the role of giant killers. At one point Kelburne?s blushes were spared by a diving goal-line clearance from Kate Longbotham that prevented ex-?Burne star Katie Mackay punishing her old club.

Half-time: Kelburne 1-0 Inverleith

Early in the second half two splendid crosses from Hyslop flashed untouched past the goal. However minutes later disaster struck. A needless infringement at a Kelburne short corner allowed the hosts to break rapidly, outflanking the Kelburne rearguard and levelling the tie.

Vince Lombardi claimed that his team ?never lost a game. They just ran out of time?? . Could this be said of this game? Perhaps. So it seemed in the second half.  Kelburne huffed and puffed, corner after corner, but Inverleith repeatedly presented them with a brick wall. Kelburne did find the net with a freakishly high deflection at one set piece but the umpire thoughtlessly blew before the ball dropped innocuously into the goal. Kelburne?s momentum was further hampered by injuries to Ewing (ankle) and Longbotham (upper lip*); both of whom bravely soldiered on after brief spells off for treatment.

In the final ten minutes either team could have clinched the tie: Inverleith saw a tremendous reverse shot fly wide, then one of their strikers kicked the ball rather than roll it into an empty net. At the other end Emma Barlow ghosted through the stolid Inverleith defence before being felled by a challenge that would have drawn censure at nearby Murrayfield. Alas when the umpire played advantage Amanda Maxwell?s sweep failed to find the target and the official forgot about cards. With moments to go Ewing chased down a hopeful ball, beat two defenders and the goalie along the baseline but her shot somehow evaded both the goal and Suzi Blake at the far post.

En suite, the dreaded penalty strokes?

Inverleith flicks were poor; Kelburne?s were worse: with the whole show marred by yet more incompetent umpiring.  Despite two valiant saves by Cath Rae, only captain Laura Wrightson netted leaving Inverleith to triumph 2-1 in front of a jubilant home crowd.

The shock exit from the cup propels Kelburne into the last 16 of the plate competition which offers an immediate opportunity for redemption on Sunday away to Grange. A fixture with added spice as the Paisley girls are still smarting from league defeat by Grange two weeks ago.

Before that Kelburne play host to CALA Edinburgh this Saturday 20th November, 12 pm at Bellahouston. Kelburne will be looking to repeat the victory they enjoyed when the two sides met in the opening game of the season and recapture the form and fluency of the Indian summer.

by Catherine