Kelburne U16 3 ? 2 Clydesdale U16
Kelburne started their quest for this year?s U16 League title with a match against old rivals Clydesdale at Bellahouston.
Kelburne were at full strength for the visit of Clydesdale and the match between 2 of the favourites for the title was always going to be close.
From the beginning Kelburne put pressure on the visitors rear-guard and played a strong game of possession hockey and pressing their opponents high up the park, and it came as no surprise when Scottish Internationalist Jack McAllister scored from Kelburne's first penalty corner award.
This goal brought a change of tactics from Clydesdale and they pushed their more prominent players further forward as they looked for the equaliser. The Kelburne defence of Fabian Goldie, Connor Bain, Ruariadh McArthur and Martin Byrne were coping well with the pressure. However a misplaced pass saw Clydesdale storm into Kelburne?s ?D? and equalise leaving Blair Martin in the Kelburne goal no chance.
Just before the interval though Kelburne broke on the left hand side of the pitch with captain Andrew Duff breaking clear at speed and his long pass found Adam McInnes in the ?D? who then drew the keeper out before passing past him for Dean Kennedy to arrive at speed at the back post to tap in.
This gave Kelburne a deserved 2 ? 1 interval lead.
Second half saw a very open game of hockey with both teams creating chances, Adam McInnes, Jack McKenzie and Jack Jamieson all saw efforts saved by the Clydesdale keeper and at the other end Blair Martin had a couple of excellent stops to maintain Kelburne?s lead.
As individuals started to tire mistakes from both teams became more apparent and again from a misplaced pass out of defence Clydesdale pounced to smash a goal through a ruck of players into the far corner of Blair?s goal.
Kelburne however did not let their heads go down and again pushed forward looking for the winner, the midfield trio of Andrew Duff, Jack McAllister and Jack McKenzie took control of the game as Kelburne started to gain the upper hand. The winning goal came when Jack McAllister dispossessed his Clydesdale counterpart in centre midfield and his defence splitting pass found Adam McInnes who coolly beat 2 defenders before passing to Jack McKenzie who?s first time shot beat the Clydesdale keeper to give Kelburne the advantage once more.
With 5 minutes remaining Clydesdale threw everything forward and from a dangerous pass, which injured Jack McAllister, play was allowed to continue and Clydesdale stormed into the ?D? and Blair Martin had to be at the best to stop the initial shot from the save a goal line scramble took place with somehow Kelburne keeping the ball out and Clydesdale claiming the ball had crossed the line, however the umpire waved play on and Kelburne were able to clear their lines, Blair Martin also had time to make one more outstanding save to deny Clydesdale and Kelburne saw out the last couple of minutes comfortably to win the match 3 ? 2.
This was a fantastic team performance by Kelburne with all playing their part in a deserved victory. Special mention though to Martin Byrne who was outstanding at left back and for 12 year old Jack Jamieson who pressurised the Clydesdale defence all game.
Thanks also to development umpire Michael Nicol for turning up to umpire, and for the large crowd of parents and club members who also turned up on a cold evening to support the young squad.
Kelburne?s next match is a home game against Hillhead on the 14th March before they play the return fixture against Clydesdale on 1st April.