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Non Sibi Cunctus.
Match : 2nd XI v Omagh 2nds
Date : 2002-11-02
Venue : H
Score : 1-2
Scorers : Johnston
By Stuart Campbell
This game was quite simply a must win for both teams, and we knew it. The game was played at a frantic pace with chances at both ends and passion in abundance.
Omagh started the first half by far the better, with what must be said, a much stronger side than expected. A bit of research may reveal that their 1sts game at Paisley park was cancelled and the team was "bulked up".
Omagh kept the ball well and pressurised with speed and accuracy, they won a free outside the circle. Their centre back picked up the ball strolled into the circle, was pushed wide by defenders but from an impossible angle drilled the ball past the disbelieving Cookie. 1-0.
It was only when Omagh scored that we realised we could actually play with good work on both flanks but little pressure on the Omagh goal. The first half ended withEast pressing forward in numbers in search of the vital goal.
The second half seen East play the ball around with confidence but unable to turn possession into clear cut chances, until we won a short corner. Short ball to Jonty, pass to Duff whose shot was illegally stopped on the line. Flick. Jonty stepped up to be counted and slipped a brilliant flick to the keepers right. GOAL. No it wasnt. Umpire Davy called for the flick to be retaken. The tension mounted but the coolest guy on the pitch this time picked the keepers left and slotted the ball home with blistering pace. Brilliant flick. I didnt know he could do that.1-1 and all to play for.
East continued to press and were unlucky not to get another goal, but Omagh broke and a 3 versus 2 at the back seen East Antrim stretched and Omagh pounced on their chance an sloted the ball past the despairing Cookie.
Now the next three minutes will be discussed at length by many people and everyone will have their own twist on things but this is mine.
They scored and we were understandably very annoyed. An Omagh player running back to his own half brushed past Andrew Blair, so he called him a W****R, another one squared up to him so feeling threatened he pushed the player away to protect himself. For this he was sent off.
About a minute later Jonty tackled brilliantly on the right wing and began to attack but was assaulted and robbed of the ball, he retaliated. I dont know how badly I was too far away but Davy Menaul was close enough and decided it warranted a yellow card, allowing the Omagh player to continue in the game. Down to nine men, a goal down with minutes remaining things looked pretty bad. But we still seemed to have the momentum and a free outside the circle and all players pushed into the circle. A dangerous ball and Soupy and their keeper wanted it. Both players crashed to the ground with Soupy seemingly lying on the keeper.
As Soupy struggled to get up he was struck around the back with a stick. He turned and struggled with the keeper seemingly trying to remove his helmet. Almost all players on the pitch got involved and chaos reigned for a few seconds. Calm was restored and Soupy rallied his troops just outside the circle, Cookie went to ask the goalkeeper how he was but this was miinterpreted as agressive behaviour and he got shouted at by many players. The game was ready to be restarted but both umpires agreed that to end the game early was the best and safest option.
There are many hard lessons to be learnt from last Saturday. But lets not forget that for 65 minutes we played a good game of hockey and maybe should have had the game well won before the game turne into Wrestlemania 23.
All of the aggression and passsion displayed last Saturday needs to be channeled in the right direction if we are to be in any way sucessful this season. Lets learn from our mistkes and make sure we do not make them again.