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Press Release - 12/01/1997

East Antrim Hockey Club
12 January 1997

For further information, contact:
Stephen Swann
Press Release Officer - East Antrim Hockey Club
34 Carnmoney Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 6HP
078 0316 7731


East Antrim continued their impressive home form last Saturday against Queens' Old Boys in an Intermediate League match. East Antrim have scored in every game they have played at the Valley Leisure Centre this season and it didn't take long to ensure that record remained intact.

Missing Vice-Captain, Alan Burgess, seemed to unbalance the midfield, despite his replacement, David Caldwell, performing admirably in an unfamiliar position. Raymond Hughes and Aaron McDonald both played in the match despite suffering from flu most of the previous week. Indeed it was McDonald who was the most threatening of the East Antrim forwards.

The first goal came after the first penalty corner award. A short ball to Hughes was struck to the far post where David Haggan had found himself. Haggan guided the ball into the net and extended his scoring record to 4 goals in 3 games. The goal, however, did not seem to lift the game, which was played at almost walking pace for lengthy periods.

The Glengormley men enjoyed plenty of possession, which was rewarded 10 minutes before half-time by another Haggan goal. A right wing cross from McDonald found Haggan in the middle of the penalty circle and an in-form Haggan does not usually need a second chance to score.

2-0 at half-time and the onlooking spectators were expecting an avalanche. Queens' Old Boys, however, did not read the script. Slack marking by East Antrim let Queens pull a goal back. Johnny Hamill in the East Antrim goal pull off two great saves to deny an equaliser, then Haggan worked a bit of magic inside the Queens penalty area. A foul on Haggan resulted in a penalty stroke which was tucked away by David Caldwell.

Queens pressed again, however, and the second penalty stroke of the game was awarded for an infringement just inside the circle. Hamill, having saved 13 penalty strokes in one season before, was given no chance this time. The final whistle blew with the home team trying to get their rhythm back - dominating most of the possession and the opportunities. The final score of 3-2 to East Antrim sees the Glengormley men keep in touch with the league leaders and stretch away from the bottom half of the league table.

Man of the match went to David Haggan whose future at East Antrim will be short-lived. David intends to go to University on the Mainland. Indeed, the University draw of the Mainland will have a dramatic effect on the club when David Kerr, Tim Kay, Allen Hull and Simon Hunter join Haggan in the exodus.

East Antrim : J Hamill, M Watson, S Swann (capt.), A Murphy, R Hughes, D Caldwell, A Hull, T Browne, A McDonald, N Hermon, D Haggan, S Higginson.

East Antrim 2nds were dealt a sever blow minutes before setting off to Cookstown - their keeper failed to way in. The beauty of a 7 point lead at the top of the league, however, is that minor upsets can be afforded. Colin Black and Robert Gibson, however, the club's top two goalscorers, were on target in a thrilling match which ended up 4-2 to Cookstown. Team captain, Gibson, said "I'm really proud of everyone in the team. We were always going to be up against it, but to fight the way we did and keep the scoreline respectable is a credit to them all. I have no doubt that if we had a keeper on the day, we would not have lost that match."

East Antrim 3rds are still on course for a tense run-in to the end of the season after another victory - this time over Annadale. Ballysillan Leisure Centre, the adopted home of the 3rd XI was the venue for a 3-0 win for a team, hell-bent on upstaging their senior teams. Andrew Lunn was in sparkling form again as he struck twice. Mervyn McQuillan provided both opportunities for Lunn whilst veteran, Jim Strange, is claiming the assist for Leon Currie to score his 9th goal of the season. The 3rd XI have only lost 2 games all season, a run which is keeping Tom Watson in confident mood.

"The youngsters are starting to mature and grow in confidence. They believe they can win every match they play. Certainly the talent has always been there, but they are building an understanding within the team which is getting the results that they deserve."

East Antrim's end of season Dinner Dance will be held at the Glenavna hotel on March 2nd. Any past member wishing to attend should contact Stephen Swann - (01232) 245277 ext. 3455 during office hours.