Kelburne:1 Grove: 2
Kelburne faced up to top of the league side grove on Saturday and displayed some of their best hockey so far this season. Having secured a 4-1 win over cala, Kelburne got the confidence boost that they were needing and this was reflected throughout the game. As the first half got underway it became clear that no one team were dominating, both had equal measures of pressure with penalty corners being won at both ends.
Midway through the first half Grove won another corner, the initial shot was a fantastic save by keeper Cath Rae, however as the rebound came off her pads a grove striker was there to lift the balll into the net to make it 1-0. Kelburne, undeterred got the ball back to centre and got the game going again. Kelburne continued to stick to the game plan set out by coach Stacy Ramsey. The corner defence team, as always, performed extraordinary and Grove were denied any goals as a result of their performance. Kelburne played out the remainder of the second half with some very good link up play with good basics and possession hockey.
The second half saw a lift in intensity. Kelburne continued to put pressure onto the the Grove defence but were unfortunate in front of goal. The game was end to end, calling on keeper, Rae, to make some outstanding saves. Time was ticking on and Kelburne were desperate for an equaliser. This came in the form of a penalty corner won through some clever attacking play from the left hand side. The initial shot fell to Stevie McInally however this was blocked by a grove defender, it then fell to Kate Longbotham who swept the ball into the goal past the Grove Keeper.
The score was 1-1 and adrenaline was running high. Grove defender Louise Carroll was given a green card, putting grove down to 10 men. Kelburne seized this opportunity to take advantage of this, however a foul committed by Amy Hyslop saw her being awarded a Yellow card, putting both teams down to 10 men.
Grove responded quickly to this and made their way into the kelburne 'D' to win what was a very controversial penalty corner. With 30 seconds left on the clock Grove struck the ball which was saved by the Kelburne Keeper , but fell to a grove striker who managed to trickle the ball over the line. The whistle blew to end the game at 2-1 to Grove.
The result was disappointing, but the performance put in by the Kelburne girls was amazing. They showed real character and determination and can hold their heads high, in the knowledge that they took the league leaders down to the wire. Special mention goes to Amanda 'Sandy' Maxwell for an outstanding performance!!!
match report by Kerri Nunnery