else if (is_ie4up)
© Copyright 1996-
2019 East Antrim HC
All rights reserved.
Non Sibi Cunctus.
Match : 2nd XI v East Antrim 1sts
Date : 2001-09-08
Venue : H
Score : 0-6
By 2nd XI Captain
The match had been eagerly anticipated for months, the questions would be answered. Are the seconds really better than the firsts? Are they really more skilful? Do they really train harder? Does Leon Curries really expect to score against a defence that let in a mere fifty goals last season?
The atmosphere was tense, DC's knees were visibly shaking at the prospect of meeting the Wolverine Paul Reid, you could see the fear in Rambo's eyes as the reality sunk it that defeat was imminent. The match got under way with only one umpire (the first eleven could not supply an umpire, so Soupy generously agreed to let Skelty take full control). A great job he done too.
After such generousity it was disheartening to see such reckless tackles from Leon on Paul Reid (who must be commended for keeping his cool against such a barbaric attack), backchat from Rambo and the BRUTAL assault on Aaron Young by Alan Murphy, obviously this was the only way the 1st eleven had a chance against such superior opposition.
It became apparent that Paul Reid and Paul Grant had taken a coaching course over the summer because they proceeded to show DC and Alan Burgess how to play the game of hockey. Mark and Kieth, new recruits from the Mark Long Academy for losing gracefully, made impressive debuts stifling the immense talent of Jamsie Greer and George Armstrong respectively. George even gave up and went home half way through the second half realising that all his efforts would be fruitless.
The game began frantically with the seconds having 99.9999999% of the play. Milletts delivered a tent soon after the start so Aaron Young, Eddie Baird and Niel Johnston could set up camp in the oppositions half.
But disaster struck, 20 minutes into the game a lucky break from their own half and suddenly it was DC and Leon Currie against the keeper (Soupy THE CAT Campbell). DC carried out GBH on the keeper before slipping a precise ball to Leon who amazingly found the net from 4 and a half inches. A great goal that will live for ever in the folklore of Leon Currie Land.
The firsts some how managed to sneak another goal before half time, a ball from the right and Leon being given the freedom of Ballysillan Park could only have one result.
Sustained pressure from the seconds along with a succession of short corners (OK then one short corner) failed to produce any more goals in the first half.
The seconds came out for the second half realising that if they played to their strengths of superior skill, fitness, ball control and passing that victory could still be there for the taking.
Alas the firsts continued to roll their luck. Adding four goals in the second half.
DC's shot somehow scuttled under the keeper's kickers after being allowed to stroll from Ardoyne shops to the circle without challenge.
Paul Leitch continued to dominate the game from the back but could do little when Eddie Andrews scored a goal which belonged more in Croke Park than on the hockey pitch. Eddie; The bill is in the post from Belfast City Council for new nets. Alan Burgess eventually got his reward after being frustrated by Soupy for most of the game. Someone else scored but I forget who it was. I am sure it was a fluke.
The seconds never gave in and finished strongly, JB, GH & TW proving that experience is the answer against the wee youngsters of the firsts, Swann showing that he has lost none of the destructive power that infuriated strikers in the intermediate league for many seasons.
Duffin created visible panic in the oppositions defence after coming on at half time to tease the firsts defence with tantalising brilliance that stretches the laws of physics to their limits.
The game concluded on a friendly note. If there is a lesson to be learnt from this game it is that even if you are the better side and play the better the hockey, occasionally you are still going to lose by the odd goal or six.
I believe this to be a true and accurate record of events at Ballysillan Leisure Center on Saturday 8th Septenmber.