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Non Sibi Cunctus.
Match : 2nd XI v Instonians 5ths
Date : 2006-11-18
Venue : A
Score : 3-4
Scorers : DM, NH(2)
By Peter Thompson
The 2nds travelled to an ice-cold House of Sport with a strong squad and an even stronger determination. The opposition was an in-form Instonians side who came to the game on the back of a win last week against league-leaders Cookstown.
The first half showed that Instonians, while their experience gave them good tackling and technical ability, could not match our speed or foresight. Our forwards were perhaps having to cover more ground than they ought, and whilst stronger support from the back upwards was the answer, our play was very effective and ball retention was far superior to our south Belfast counterparts. A brilliantly-taken short corner gave us the lead and as half time sounded, there was only one team in contention.
Perhaps our half-time team talk was carried out in much colder environs, but whatever the reason, Instonians, as its affiliated school so often does, started the half on their front feet. The introduction of some younger players livened the opposition and they took the lead, rather unfortunately, from a short corner that, to say the least, I would have liked another chance at.This spurred our opposition onto another quick offensive campaign and, much like their forthcoming goals, it was a numbers game that allowed them to take the lead. Not to be outdone, we searched for and subsequently found the back of the net twice more, and despite the best efforts of our experienced forwards, we were 3-3 with few minutes remaining. Unfortunately, the momentum swung Instonians’ way and the home team ran out eventual winners.
In a game that started with so much promise, we were inevitably disappointed with the result, given that everyone beleived that the game was ours for the taking. We can however take plenty out of the game as a whole, not least that we have the potential to beat any team in the league with the right squad and attitude. Every player, at some point in the match, exhibited their better qualities, and I honestly beleive that we were unlucky, rather than second best.
Next week’s match is a home fixture against South Antrim 4ths. Their position in the league (5th, just below Inst) is perhaps deceiving, given that they have won 2 out of their last 7 games. We are expected to be playing straight after the 1st XI at paisley and should have a squad of at least equal strength to this week’s. As far as I am concerned, this is a must-win match and one that we should not be doubtful about taking.