Kelburne Men?s 2nd team: 3
Kelburne?s Mens second string went into the second last league game of the season on Saturday knowing that a win would bring an extraordinary 10th consecutive league title. Fraser Scott?s team were facing one of the strongest teams in the league, Inverleith, away from home and were missing two forwards in Jack McKenzie and Miles Goldie so it was not the easiest of assignments for the Whitehaugh men.
They suffered an almost instant setback when, following a loss of possession, Inverleith quickly broke up the field to round the keeper and open the scoring. To the ?Burne?s credit, they immediately tore into the Edinburgh team, with central midfield axis of ?Big? Fraser Hutchison and Michael Nicol subjecting them to incessant pressure. This quickly told as maturing prospect Nicol kept his composure in the ?D? to rifle home a reverse stick shot to bring the scores level. Inverleith were now rocking under waves of Kelburne attacks and fast-improving, 15 year old forward Andrew ?Chucky? Duff soon notched the Paisley side?s second goal in a minute from close range following typically incisive build-up play from Ed ?E.T.? Greaves. After such an early setback it was a well-deserved turnaround.
The game now settled into the pattern of Kelburne attacks punctuated by occasional Inverleith breaks. It was from one of these breaks that the Edinburgh team added another goal against the run of play. With the game poised at 2-2 it took 17-year club legend, Gordon ?Beast? Menzies, to fire the ?Burne ahead from a set-piece with a trademark rocket into the bottom corner. After such a burst of activity both teams were content to see half time arrive.
After the open, end-to-end first half the goals completely dried up in the second half. The goals may have dried up but the chances certainly didn?t: Kelburne peppered the opposing goal with chance after chance. According to the onlooking spectators, the two Kelburne open-play goals were scored from an incredible 26 shots. It?s fair to say that player/coach Menzies felt that this was an opportunity for improvement if the double is to be brought back to Whitehaugh. Equally, the set-piece routines were not as smooth as they could have been with only one goal coming from nine penalty corners. Despite squandering so many opportunities, Kelburne played some excellent hockey throughout the game with youngsters such Duff, Greaves, Jack McAllister and Harry ?Hazza? Godfrey starting to show that they are comfortable at this level of hockey.
Kelburne comfortably saw out the last minutes of the game to celebrate a third consecutive league title under the exemplary captaincy of Fraser Scott who commented: ?It?s been a tough season at times but it?s been good to see our new group of young players growing into this league and showing that they?ve got what it takes to progress.?
Sadly, there was little chance to celebrate in the traditional style in the back bar at Whitehaugh as the team?s next game was their cup quarter final in Dundee the very next morning.