Hockey: Inside knowledge takes fear factor away from Inverleith

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INVERLEITH won’t fear runaway pace-setters Kelburne in hockey’s Division One feature clash tomorrow.

The pair go head-to-head at Forthbank, Stirling, as an under-age girls’ inter-regional tournament is on at Inverleith’s normal home pitch at Peffermill.

Inverleith coach Steve McCurry is now desperate to make up ground after last weekend’s 3-2 home defeat by Scottish Cup holders Western. The reverse snapped Inverleith’s five-game winning run and saw they slip to third place in the ten-strong table, a point behind Grange.

Kelburne lead with 21 points from seven straight wins and ambitious McCurry now has a six-point gap to make up.

He said: “We played top Irish and English clubs in a pre- season tournament in Ireland and won the event.

“Some of our guys also train with Kelburne players at international level so they know what they have to offer. We also know how Kelburne will play.”

McCurry was disappointed about his side’s performance against Western and said: “We came out flat and we’ll have to up our work-rate against Kelburne. It will be a hard game and Kelburne are a quality side. You don’t win the title seven years in a row if you’re not, but we can give them a game if we are focused.”

Kelburne’s playcaller Mark Ralph believes Inverleith will be even more determined against his men following last weekend’s reverse to Western, saying: “Inverleith fixtures are always good, competitive games. We expect the same again but we’ll be prepared.”

Elsewhere, Grange travel to second-bottom Hillhead, while CALA Edinburgh entertain Edinburgh University (3.30pm), who are in fifth place with nine points, two ahead of their hosts.