Kelburne Hockey Club clinched a place in Europe next season after a victory on running penalties against Grange at the Grand Finals in Glasgow Green on Sunday.
After a dramatic 3-3 draw at the National Hockey Centre, the Paisley side held their nerve to win 2-1 in running penalties. The win completes a treble and a remarkable few weeks for Kelburne who pipped Grange to the league title and the Scottish Cup and ensures they will play in the Euro Hockey League next season.
Kelburne started strongly, with Lee Morton sending them into a 1-0 lead early in the game. Morton picked up the ball outside the area, dribbled inside, and finished off a fantastic move.
But Grange soon struck back. Luke Cranney had the ball out on the left, and passed it to Calum Milne.
Milne slotted the ball to John McCluskey, who quickly passed it back to him. Milne then rocketed the ball into the net.
The goal buoyed Grange, and shortly afterwards Dom Wild sent them into a 2-1 lead with a goal from a penalty corner.
Shocked at falling behind, Kelburne searched for an equaliser. Johnny Christie missed a guilt-edged chance to level up the game, however immediately made up for his error by then scoring to make it 2-2.
With both sides producing some excellent hockey in what was an intense tie, tempers began to flare and the game became increasingly feisty.
Always a threat, Morton dribbled into the box, and felt he had a claim for being fouled when he tumbled over the keeper. Shortly before half-time it was Grange’s turn to be aggrieved, as they were denied what looked a likely foul near their own box.
Not too long after the second half began, Grange once again turned the game on its head as Joe Waterstone took advantage of Calum Milne’s spilled effort to make it 3-2.
Once again the league and cup winners found themselves in search of an equaliser. Morton found his way through again, but his effort went over the bar. Christie looked to add to his goals tally, but was unsuccessful in doing so.
As the second half progressed, Grange seemed to become more and more comfortable with their lead. They were limiting Kelburne’s number of chances in front of goal, and doing a good job at isolating Morton.
With just minutes remaining, Grange’s Frank Ryan was given a yellow card. Kelburne used this to push forward, and forced their opponents to defend deep.
Moments after coming close from a penalty corner, Josh Cairns got the equaliser to ensure the game would go to a shootout. It was to be heartbreak for Grange, as they never quite recovered from their deficit. Cameron Fraser missed their final penalty, and once again Kelburne emerged on top.