At the conclusion of a meeting held in conjunction with the Lisburn Gymnastic and Physical Culture Club on 3 September 1912, a further meeting was held with a view to inaugurate South Antrim Hockey Club. Cecil Coulter was elected as Captain.
The Club Constitution was agreed at the Clubs first general meeting on 12 September 1912 and the Clubs chosen colours were Coronation Blue with a dark red slash, later changed to red and black horizontal stripes and finally to the present colours of red and black squares. A field was rented at Belsize Road, Lisburn at a cost of 2 per half year.
The First XI ended their first season in the Minor League winning 4, drawing 3 and losing 9.
The Club developed a strong connection with the linen mill at Hilden and the First President was JM Barbour. The First Patron of the club was Captain James Craig MP, later to become Lord Craigavon and the First Prime Minister of Northern Ireland.
36 Club Members served in HM forces during the First World War, a remarkable record for a small club.
In 1921 the club joined the Senior League. Home grounds changed frequently until 1921, when the club moved to a site at Forthill, owned by Friends School. The first major success was the winning of the Kirk and McMeekin Cups in 1921-22.
Following the Second World War the club struggled to attract quality players and indeed barely had enough to field two teams. But for the loyalty of a small band of enthusiasts, the Club may well have ceased to exist.
The year 1972 saw a welcome return in the Clubs fortunes when the Beechlawn Club from Dunmurry decided to merge with South Antrim.
The club currently field five senior teams, as well as U11, U13 and U15 junior sides. Home games are currently played at Friends’ School, Lisburn, making South Antrim the only Hockey Club still going strong in the City. It has pursued an aggressive youth policy over the last 10 years which has started to bear fruit during the past few seasons.
The Club is fortunate to have a strong Committee ably led by Chairman Jonny Taylor and is in a financially sound position thanks to the dedication of Treasurer Eric Cunningham, who joined from Beechlawn in 1972.
South Antrim won promotion from Senior 2 in 2006 and have not looked back since. They have been in the Linden Cup final in 3 of the last 4 years with the last 2 seeing them crowned champions and last season saw them finish in their highest ever league position in the 98 year history when they finished 3rd in Senior 1. The Club is fortunate to have a strong Committee with the aim over the next 5 years to continue the rapid development of the Youth Section and reach the Premier Division in time for the 100 year anniversary celebrations in 2012.
In the 2013-2014 season, South Antrim 1sts achieved its goal, and finished first in Senior 1 and gained promotion in Ulster’s Premier League. Where they play today.
South Antrim Ladies Hockey Club’s first official meeting was held on the 23rd June 2011. From there an open day was arranged in August to attract new members to hopefully enter a team into the upcoming league season. The open day was a success and from there two more meetings followed on the 13th September and the 12th October to correlate key aspects of the club. By this time however, the club had already been fully formed and entered into the Ulster Hockey League. Decisions concerning sponsorship, fundraising and responsibilities where discussed at these meetings with the constitution of the club founded aswell.
The first match for the club was played at Laurelhill Sportszone on the 24th September 2011 at 4 o’clock against Bangor Ladies Hockey Club with the Lord Mayor of Lisburn and Ulster Hockey Branch President in attendance. The team is currently establishing strong connections with local businesses to gain sponsorship. The club has a whole is new but with the enthusiasm and drive of the members the club will continue to grow.
A successful season was had by the ladies club in their 1st year, with the 1stXI joint winners of Junior 10, earning their place in Senior 4 for the 2012-2013 season. The club plan is to introduce a 2ndXI into Junior 10 for the 2012-2013 to continue in the development of this new club.
A Ladies 2nds was formed in September 2012 and performed admirably, earning promotion in a league restructure to Junior 7.
In November 2015, The Ladies Club formed a 3rd XI, filling a vacant spot in Junior 7.
As of 2018-19 season ending, The Men’s 1XIs are a regular midtable Premier League team. The seconds are in Junior 2, thirds in Junior 3 and the fourths, having just won the league in an undefeated season, are now promoted to Junior 4. This season the fourths also won the Minor Cup, beating Portrush 2nds in the final 3-2. The Ladies 1sts finished first in Senior 3, earning promotion to Senior 2 for next season and the 2nds finished 2nd in Junior 6 but lost their promotion playoff. Unfortunately, the 3rd team was dropped at the start of the 2018-19 season.
Going into the 19-20 season, the Ladies club reformed the 3rds and the men reformed the 5ths and 6ths, a huge testament to the good work our youth system does. The Men’s fourths came second in Junior 4 and thus acheived back to back promotion into Junior 3.
Unfortunately The 19/20 season was cut short by two months due and the 20/21 season was cancelled completely due to the global COVID-19 virus epidemic.
2021/22 restart season saw the 10th anniversary of the Ladies club and they’ve gone from strength to strength over the years and marked the occasion buy fielding two additional teams, a 4ths and a 5ths. And by the end of the year, their 2nds were promoted to Junior 4 by winning Junior 5. The Ladies 4ths also won the Minor Plate. On the men’s side. The 1sts gained promotion to the all-Ireland IHL2 league for the first time by finishing 5th in the Premier League and the 3rds were promoted to Junior 2 after finishing 2nd in their league. Alas, the 4ths, also of Junior 3 suffered relegation. Unfortunately the club went back down to 5 teams as the 6ths conceded.
With the 2021/23 season the Ladies just keep growing, they entered a 6ths team, filling a spot in the lowest tier.