5ths lose narrowly again

The 5s went into their 4th game after the midwinter break having not won since December, despite playing some of the best hockey they have played all season. This recent poor run of results had resulted in them slipping down the table, from 2nd to 5th. In a bid to get the team back on form, they recruited the help of veteran Ian ?Bambi? McIntyre, who was joined in the team by his son, Neil. The 5s also welcomed back player/coach Stevie Bain, who had recovered from an injury.

Upon arrival at the pitch, it was clear to the team that the opposition were not the same side they had torn apart last time around, rather a bigger, faster, stronger and fitter unit (with the exception of the goalkeeper, who was easily the oldest player on the park - and with the current 5s team, that?s saying something!).

Showing true Kelburne spirit, the 5s lined up despite their acute awareness that they were facing a far stronger team than they had last time out against Giffnock. The 5s started with stalwart David Ogilvie between the sticks, a back four of Ronnie McGuire at left back, his son, Ed, at right back and Ewan ?Greenock is in Renfrewshire and anyone who disproves this has to write the next match report? Crawford accompanied by Scotland Veteran Internationalist Alan Bryce in the middle.

Right from the off Kelburne?s front two of Grant Toghill and Lucas Farndale were pressing the Giffnock rear guard, and this almost came to fruition in the first minute of the game when young Farndale ran the width of the pitch to close down the Giffnock defence, and pounced on a slack piece of control by the centre back, allowing him to run towards goal before cutting it back to Donald Campbell who couldn?t quite get a shot away. These early spells of pressure continued throughout the first few minutes until Kelburne won a penalty corner from an attack down the right hand side of the park. The shot from Stevie Bain was just about kept out by the Giffnock keeper but unfortunately for the defending team, Ronnie McGuire was on hand to use his baseball swing to send the ball into the roof of the Giffnock net. There were a few questions asked by the defenders but even their own umpire confirmed that the 5s? very own ?Babe Ruth? had not raised his stick above shoulder height.

Kelburne maintained the pressure for most of the half but a rare slip of concentration from the defence allowed a Giffnock attacker in behind the line before unleashing a stunning strike from an almost impossible angle into David Ogilvie?s usually well guarded goal. The teams both started to open up after this point with the Kelburne midfield of Donald Campbell, Stevie Bain, Jack Jamieson and Dick Donaldson effectively running shuttles between the two 25 yard lines, so the late arrival of captain Willie Allan was much welcomed to relieve tired legs. The forwards were also rotating, with partnerships of Neil McIntyre, his dad Bambi, Grant Toghill, Sandy Sneddon and Lucas Farndale. Despite all the attacking play from Kelburne, there were very few shots on goal. At the other end goalkeeper David Ogilvie was still on the great form he has been experiencing all season and produced a number of first class saves which, like most of the Giffnock team, wouldn?t look out of place in the national leagues. The half went on in the same attacking style, but due to the efforts from both teams? defences, the teams went into half time one apiece.

Half time score: Kelburne 5s 1 - 1 Giffnock ?2s??

In his half time team talk Stevie Bain asked the team if they wanted to claim the match, due to the fact that the majority of the Giffnock team were obviously not meant to be playing for the 2s, but showing true spirit, the team decided to play the game out, hoping to be able to get the points due to their performances rather than Giffnock?s transgressions.

The second half started brightly for the ?Burne, with forwards Neil McIntyre and Lucas Farndale pressing very high on the Giffnock defence, but it was only a matter of time until the Kelburne legs stopped and the much fitter and faster Giffnock players exploited this to the full, scoring relatively early in the half. The young Kelburne side were doing everything they could to stop the Giffnock attacks, and they largely succeeded, using the experience they have gained throughout the season to thwart the efforts of what was really a national league team. Sadly, the much faster and stronger Giffnock side did eventually get through again due to a lapse in concentration from the back four, and after a bit of a scramble in the D, the ball was squeezed past goalkeeper David Ogilvie into the waiting Kelburne goal.

Following the third Giffnock goal, Kelburne started to attack again, albeit mainly through long balls up field which one of the forwards would latch onto. Kelburne also threatened when either Neil McIntyre or Lucas Farndale forced the defenders into making mistakes by pressing them while Giffnock had the ball, and this persistent tactic eventually paid off when a mis-hit from a defender allowed Kelburne to win possession at the edge of the Giffnock D. After a period of pressure, captain Willie Allan won a penalty corner which was duly dispatched into the bottom corner by Stevie Bain.

The 5s spent most of the rest of the game camped in their own half, so inevitably Giffnock scored again with about 5 minutes left on the clock. It was a fourth goal for Giffnock, but with the performance Kelburne had offered, they did not really deserve to have conceded that number. There were a few efforts from the 5s after the goal to start an attack, but most ended up with the ball right back in the Kelburne half, although there were a few great runs from Neil McIntyre, who was really working off scraps.

Goalkeeper David Ogilvie kept working hard in the Kelburne goal and deserves credit for not allowing any more shots past him throughout the match, having made a number of saves to bail out the tiring Kelburne rear guard. It took some really special efforts to beat him, as has been the norm for the whole season, with a shot being able to find its way into the Kelburne goal becoming a rarity.

Full Time: Kelburne 5s 2-4 Giffnock ?2s??

Next week, the 5s will host Ayr 2s, who last time out clinched a draw on their own turf. Hopefully they will be able to end this recent run of poor form and grab a win off of an Ayr team who are beginning to climb the Division 2 table, finding themselves in 6th place, compared to last time Kelburne played them, when they were 11th.
Match Report by Lucas Farndale