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Non Sibi Cunctus.
Match : 2nd XI v Newry 4ths
Date : 2004-01-10
Venue : A
Score : 3-6
Scorers : Swann, Blair, Hamilton
By Stephen Swann
It is tricky when you lose the service of Phil Irwin and Aaron Young... it is trickier when you are reduced to 10 men after 10 minutes because one of your star strikers suffers a broken thumb after a raised ball strikes his hand. (Anthony Bannon never received an apology or any words of comfort from the Newry player who has ended his season!)
To then take the lead, was fairytale stuff! Blair waltzed through the Newry midfield, drew the Newry defence and slipped it to Swann at the top of the circle. A first time, cross-kepper powerful push when straight into the corner of the net. Moments later, Blair did it all himself (with the assistance of a deflection of a Newry stick) to make it 2-0.
Being pegged back to 2-1 from a penalty corner may have signalled a Newry revival until Blair performed his hat-trick of humbling the Newry defence - this time Hamilton grabbed the headlines following Blair's hard-work.
3-1 at half-time, but still with 10 men. The second half was going to be tough.
As stated, it is hard to play with 10 men. But when your second-half opponents are notably "improved" and umpiring decisions "seem" to consistently go against you, then it can come as no surprise to find that the final score-line does not necessarily reflect either team's ability.
The match ended 6-3 in favour of the home team. The result certainly flattered Newry... At least the East Antrim team were able to leave the field of play with dignity.
S Swann (captain)
A Bannon (briefly)
A Blair - Top Notch