South Antrim 2nds 2-4 Lisnagarvey 3rds (J.Semple, N.Wilson)
With South Antrim 1sts and 3rds not in action last weekend, it was all eyes on the club’s second XI. The 2nds continued their build up to their Junior 1 league campaign with a hard fought match against Lisnagarvey 3rds at Friends’ School. The young South side started brightly creating a number of chances in the early exchanges. Though Garvey inevitably came into the game more as the half wore on, the South defence, marshalled by debutant Matt Frazer, coped admirably with all that the Hillsborough outfit had to throw at them. To the credit of the inexperienced South Antrim team, the scores were level at half time. Lisnagarvey began the second half determined to make up for the lack of goals in the first period. After an extended spell of intense pressure Garvey took the lead with a neat finish. Credit to the Lisburn team that they did not let their heads go down and they came back into the game strongly. It was through some expert wing play from another South Antrim debutant Chris Arnott, on the left side of the pitch that lead to the first short corner of the half. From this set piece Chris Redpath slid the ball towards the back post for John Semple to expertly deflect home bringing the home team level. After this Garvey showed what has made them an ever present in Junior 1 over the last number of seasons, scoring 2 quick goals whilst the Lisburn team were tiring from chasing the game for the majority of the second half. The home side they played to the final whistle and were duly rewarded. Late on, some neat stick work by schoolboy Jamie Dawson bought him time to find James Brown in the Lisnagarvey circle. Brown played a precision pass to Mark Conn through a crowded D, who in turn laid the ball off for Neil Wilson to power home a deserved second goal for the home side. Have seen chances go begging throughout the game, the South know they should’ve salvaged at least a point from the game. Thanks must go to George Redpath for umpiring the game
South Antrim 4ths 0-0 Ballymena 1sts
South Antrim 4ths continued their cup run against a strong Ballymena side with a hard fought draw. Their unbeaten run still intact, largely due to the heroics of Ashley Sloan between the posts. The 11 men in red and black played with a lot of heart in a tense affair, without the advantage of any substitutes against the experienced former Senior 2 side. In an even first half, chances were hard to come by. Ian McElhenny was unlucky to be unable to continue with his fine goal scoring form after a chance was created by good work down the right hand side by Kurtis Gamble who was a livewire all game. Both teams’ Keepers had a desire to keep clean sheets, with Ashley Sloan making numerous good saves to keep his side in the game. In the second half Ballymena started strongly with a lot of possession and asked a lot of questions of South Antrim’s make shift defence. However, the Lisburners defended resolutely as a team, from the forwards all the way back to the goal keeper. The ball did end up in the back of South’s net close to the end of the match but thankfully it was correctly disallowed due to first in the build up. South 4ths can be very proud of a hard fought point in a very even game in which neither team could feel begrudged with sharing the spoils.
South Antrim 5ths 3-0 Mossley 5ths (J.Massey, P.Davis x2)
Following last week’s heavy defeat, South’s captain, Trevor Wallace, arranged for the team to arrive 2 hours before push back for the match against Mossley 5s for a tactics session. When the game started, South burst out of the blocks and pressed the Mossley defence high up and where rewarded with a string of short corners. However, the Mossley keeper prevented John Massey’s efforts from the set pieces. Mossley looked dangerous on the attack but Davis marshalled the South defence well to nullify any danger. With it 0-0 at half time, South started the second half looking to capitalise on their hard work. 10 mins in, a Mossley free in the South end broke down, Massey picked up the ball on the 23 line and with a turn of pace that surprised the opposition, sprinted up the pitch with only Adam Pyper able to support. A neat one-two pass around the last defender allowed Massey to tap in from close range as South took the lead. Shortly after, South won another short corner. With Massey off the pitch, recovering from his exertions, Davis stepped up and buried it into the bottom corner with a cannon of a hit. Mossley pushed hard for a goal and won several short corners. South Keeper Andrew Wallace saved the first, Captain Trevor Wallace turned a drag flick round the post for the second and from the third, Davidson cleared off the line. Again South countered from the break down and sweeper Davis received the ball in the Mossley circle and drilled the ball across goal, into the left hand corner to seal a 3-0 win.
South Antrim Ladies 1sts 4-0 PSNI Ladies 1sts (A.Dugan, J.Clarke, A.Patton, V.Donaldson)
South Antrim Ladies 1Xl started their season last Saturday with a display of such talent that shows that they are well prepared for the challenges of the season. The extra training sessions have proved their worth as the ladies stole the three points from the PSNI side at Stormont. In the opening minutes the South forwards and midfield moved the ball at ease across the width of the pitch, putting their opposition under constant pressure. Vicky Donaldson (Player of the Match) and Charis Rodgers dribbled around the PSNI defenders at will, winning many corners for their team, however, the opening goal didn’t come from a set piece, but from a sublime piece of individual skill in the form a reverse lob by Alex Dugan. The South ladies proved unstoppable in the second half as any loose balls were quickly intercepted by the keen eyed South defenders and sent immediately back towards the PSNI end. Again, PSNI found themselves struggling in the game as two more goals were added in quick succession, by Vicky Donaldson and Amy Patton respectively. Donaldson’s quick thinking led to a fourth goal when she sent the ball to an awaiting Jo Clarke, who scored from the left post. Netting 3 points and with 4 goals in their favour has sent the ladies to the top of Senior 4. Thanks to Brian Wilson for umpiring and to those who travelled to show their support for the ladies in their opening match.
South Antrim Ladies 2nds 2-0 Banbridge Ladies 4ths (C.Niblock, L.Fitzpatrick)
South Antrim Ladies 2nds continued their very promising start to the season with a solid performance against Banbridge at their home ground at Friends School. Getting off to a bright start from the off, Amy Wright slotted the ball out right to Laura McConnell who gave Lucy Fitzpatrick a chance at goal but was denied by the Banbridge keeper. Continuing with some fine play across midfield Wright slotted the ball to Fitzpatrick again at the top of the circle and this time she hit a screamer into the corner of the goal to put the girls ahead. Banbridge worked hard to get the ball into the home circle but solid defending from Natalie Lowry and Louise Boyd kept them from posing any real threat to the South goal.
South continued to dominate with Bethnay Lockhart working hard in midfield and Laura McConnell getting the ball to the South forwards giving Sarah Ferris another chance to score but solid Banbridge defending kept them at bay. Banbridge started the second half keen to push forward but good defending from Nicole Bell and Holly Stanfield enabled South to continue to push forward. Carly Niblock kept the pace up down the right flank worrying the Banbridge defenders eventually getting just reward for her efforts with a well taken goal from a rebound from the Banbridge keeper. South continued to dominate to the end and some great performances from the young players throughout, including Anna McFarlane and Emily Hassardm gives South plenty to look forward to in the forthcoming season. Players of the match were Lucy Fitzpatrick and Bethnay Lockhart and thanks to William Redpath(Jnr) for umpiring.