Kelburne still on course
15 February 2012
SUBWAY NATIONAL LEAGUE (MEN)
It is difficult to see Glynhill Kelburne surrendering their substantial lead at the top of the Subway national league, given they have a perfect record so far, but this weekend`s clash with arch-rivals Western Wildcats, who are second in the table, is a rare opportunity to put the brakes on the Paisley bandwagon.
Harry Coles, Kelburne`s manager, is far from counting his chickens. "We are expecting the usual highly competitive game against our old rivals, and irrespective of the outcome, I don`t think anyone at will be taking anything for granted in terms of the destiny of the championship in mid February.
"I think you will see a pretty open game as always with plenty of opportunities for both teams. Last year`s cup final underlines to us that you cannot have defensive frailties with a side like Western who have a number of individuals who are very capable of scoring goals."
Despite Coles` caution, the omens are not in the Wildcats` favour as they were on the wrong end of a 7-1 mauling earlier in the season. Vishal Marwaha, Western`s coach, sees his side as underdogs for the occasion. "However, we are going into the game with a positive mindset, but first and foremost we need to improve defensively."
To add to Marwaha`s problems, Ian Moodie will be missing through suspension while former international defender Andrew Sewnauth is out injured. (Millerston at 14.00 hours)
Third placed Grange have the opportunity to advance their cause, captain Rob Barr will await with interest the outcome of the top game, but six points from their double header weekend against bottom side VWS Dundee Wanderers on Saturday and Grove Menziesill the following day, should push the Edinburgh side into second spot.
"It`s crucial that we pick up points this weekend, we have been training well and will look to attack at every opportunity, and it`s important that we start the second half of the season strong," said Barr.
Barr`s charges should certainly see off Wanderers who have amassed only a single point so far, but Menzieshill on Tayside is a wholly different occasion. Earlier in the season Grange only managed to win 4-3 at Peffermill, the goals came from Colin McIver, Martin Kelly, Phil Sully and Cammie Fraser.
With Grange eight points adrift of Kelburne going into to this weekend, Barr sees catching the leaders as a very tall order. "Realistically we know we are probably in a fight for second place. However, we are capable of winning all our games for the rest of the season, and if we do we may be able to get close to Kelburne." (Saturday Peffermill at 13.30 hours)
CALA Edinburgh, currently third bottom, will be hoping ease their relegation concern with a home win over AMN Hillhead, seven points below them in the table. The influential Scott Sutherland has delayed his departure for a year out in Australia to play for CALA in this crucial fixture. (Meggetland at 15.30 hours)
The final encounter is a mid-table clash between Greaves Clydesdale and Edinburgh University, the first game ended in a 2-2 draw.