South Antrim 2-6 Newry (L.Marshall, M.Getty)
Saturday saw Newry Hockey Club make the journey to Lisburn to face South Antrim. After a 2-2 draw earlier in the season, a tight game was expected with South hoping to pick up the three points. Both sides traded possession early on but it was the visitors who made the breakthrough. A simple crashed ball into the circle was dealt with poorly by the south defence resulting in a Newry forward scoring after numerous rebounds. As South grew more into the game, they suffered another blow as Newry scored their second in almost identical fashion as another crashed ball in was mistrapped. The Newry forward made no mistake firing home. South however, responded quickly. James Brown and John Semple combined neatly down the right to find Paul Maguire on the edge of the D. A tricky baseline run saw him bypass the Newry defence, allowing him to find Matthew Getty unmarked in the D who made no mistake in slotting the ball home.
The second half saw south come out fighting. Spells of possession in the Newry half saw South win three short corners, none of which were converted. South were made to pay for this, as against the run of play Newry won their first short corner, and scored. South started to push much higher up the pitch soon after, leaving themselves vulnerable to the counter attack, which Newry took full advantage off. Newry’s’ 4th and 5th came from quick attacks up the pitch after South turned over the ball high up in the visitors half. South however continued to push on and Lee Marshall got their second by using impressive ingenuity to bamboozle the Newry defence from a free at the edge of the circle. Once he made it into the D he made no mistake in slotting the ball past the Newry keeper. In the final moments, when the game was lost Newry got their 6th, again from a clinically executed counter attack.
South Antrim 2nds 3-7 Glenanne 2nds (D.Hutchinson, M.Conn x2)
Last Saturday South Antrim seconds made the trip to Dublin to face Glenanne, for the quarter final of the Irish Junior Cup. The very young South side started brightly going toe to toe with their vastly more experienced opponents, some of whom have played in the newly formed IHL this season. The Lisburn side were defensively solid, marshalled by the youthful centre back paring of Phil Spaughton and Matt Fraser. Also in the early stages the forwards were causing the Dublin sides back line problems as Neil Wilson and James Brown took the game to the home team. 10 minutes in the home side broke the deadlock with a well worked goal down the South Antrim left. Soon after Glenanne doubled their lead after a well executed short corner. Despite being two goals down at the break the Lisburn team still felt like they were very much in the game but realised the next goal was crucial. Unfortunately Glenanne realised this too and caught South Antrim cold from the restart with a goal. This seemed to knock the wind out of the travelling teams sails as the Dublin side piled on the pressure and they were duly rewarded with a fourth goal. This 4th goal stirred the away team into action. And in this period the Lisburn side got their first opening of the half. James Brown picked up on a well weighted through ball and as he was taking it round the keeper he was fouled and the umpire awarded a penalty stroke. Midfield dynamo Darren Hutchinson stepped up and dispatched the stroke to the keeper’s right beating him for pace and placement. South Antrim didn’t rest on their laurels, they pressed on in search for a second goal. They made inroads down the left side of the pitch through Nathan Gamble, linking up well with the pacy veteran Chris Arnott. And it was through this combination that the Lisburn team won the short corner that set up their second goal. The initial drag flick was well saved low to the goalkeepers left but the rebound was coolly finished by Mark Conn at the right hand post. At 4-2 Glenanne and coaching staff were growing more and more concerned with South’s increasing influence on the game. This lead to minor personnel alterations which had the desired effect for the home side as they scored two quick goals effectively killing the tie off with 10 minutes still left on the clock. Credit to the young Lisburn team they kept attacking, and their endeavors payed off when Mark Conn got his second goal as he cut along the base line and lifting it over the on rushing keeper and tuck the ball inside the far post. In the dying minutes Glenanne got a seventh goal when the away team had lost concentration after a staggering amount of effort and energy expelled during the 70 minutes. The defence were slow to react to a quickly taken free but at the top of the circle and an open forward deflected a crash ball home. South Antrim can be pleased with their performance against a very strong Glenanne side. They can also take great pride in getting to the quarter final of such a prestigious cup competition. Thanks have to go to South’s eager supporters who made the 200 mile round trip.
South Antrim 3rds 2-2 Annadale 4ths (J.Deane, C.McCandless)
South Antrim 3rds played Annadale in a top of the table clash. South went a goal down in the first ten minutes due to an error at the back. South Antrim overpowered Annadale with superb play down the right hand side through Gary Hylands, Nathan Alistar and Kurt Gamble but could not find a goal. Half way through the second half Annadale made it 2-0 with a short corner. Down but not out, with 5 mins to go John Deane smashed in from around the flick spot and in the dying seconds Callum McCandless poked in the winner to ensure South Antrim did not lose this top of the table clash and kept Annadale at bay.
South Antrim 4ths 6-2 Mossley 4ths (A.Hamilton Junior x3, B.Brittain-Dissont, A.Smith, S.Glenn)
South Antrim 4ths face Mossley 5ths at home in a match with only one league place between the two teams. The first half was unsurprisingly very even, with both sides trading blows. Mossley scored after an unlucky deflection left a Mossely attacker with only the keeper to beat, which he did. However, South battled back to 1-1 with Junior Hamilton scoring with a neat finish in the box leaving the keeper with no chance. Mossley mustered another goal of their own shortly after from a short corner to retake the lead. South Antrim, not to be outdone, promptly won a short of their own and Junior got his second of the match.
The second half was a completely different affair and South began a memorable second half with a quick goal after Stuart Glenn beat a man inside the circle and calmly pushed the ball into the bottom corner past a helpless keeper. Junior then went on to round off his hat-trick with another cool finish in the D as we are accustomed to seeing on a regular basis. Bryce Brittain-Dissont got another goal for South with a decisive finish after some scrappy build up play. However the goal of the match came from marauding sweeper Alan Smith who ventured up the pitch playing a one-two and receiving his return ball on the right side of the D. After killing the ball with his first touch, Alan crashed the ball into the net in the finest of finishes to give South an unassailable 4 goal lead.
South Antrim 5ths 3-8 Portadown 3rds (N.Mills, I.McElhinney, G.McCormick)
South Antrim 5ths had a miserable Minor Cup outing, losing 8-3 to an impressive Portadown 3rds, Ian McElhinney, Gary McCormick and Nick Mills got the goals.
South Antrim Ladies 2nds 3-6 Holywood 2nds (L.Boomer x2, R.Young)
The first half of the game saw the teams play a game of Ping Pong with goals flying in everywhere! At 3-3 Holywood started to put pressure on the South defenders gaining another 3 goals before the final. Morgan Muir got the Dame of the Game trophy.
South Antrim Ladies 3rds 0 -3 Grosvenor Ladies 4ths
The girls stepped their game up in the first half today and it looked like the 3rds were on their way to some points. Unfortunately Grosvenor, realising they were going to have to do something, managed to turn things around and notch up 3 goals. Player of the match was claimed by Danielle Heasley