Press Release - 26/01/1997
East Antrim Hockey Club
26 January 1997
For further information, contact:
Press Release Officer - East Antrim Hockey Club
34 Carnmoney Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 6HP
078 0316 7731
EAST ANTRIM V PORTRUSH
East Antrim continued their recent disciplinary problems against a Portrush team at the Valley Leisure Centre last Saturday. Problems on the pitch had been brewing for a number of weeks despite the results going the Glengormley men's way.
15 minutes into the game, however, onlookers would have thought that the East Antrim men were championship material. Swift incisive play resulted in Aaron McDonald scoring only his second goal of the season. Portrush seemed shell-shocked as East Antrim poured on the pressure.
The early goal, however, was quickly followed by a Portrush equaliser. Slack defending let the visitor's back into the game and was also the cause for Portrush to take the lead. Indeed, from East Antrim taking the lead they found themselves 4-1 down within 8 minutes. The East Antrim midfield were being totally outplayed as players seemed to lose all interest in the game as a contest.
Portrush, hardly believing their luck, found themselves almost scoring goals during each attack. By half-time, Portrush had extended their lead with 3 more goals. Facing their heaviest league defeat for years, East Antrim's team talk at half-time was inspiring as Portrush were contained for 15 minutes.
Just as East Antrim were beginning to prove that they were not the pushovers the scoreline suggested, Portrush hit their eighth goal of the game. One East Antrim player left the pitch in disgust, one was dismissed from the game after a yellow card offence, and numerous others had obviously given up the ghost.
The full-time whistle went with Portrush winning the game 9-1. Team captain, Stephen Swann, said "I'm totally disgusted with the attitude of some players. No other team in the land would go from cruising in a game to conceding nine goals. The good work we have put in over the last 6 months seems to have been wasted and I will have to think seriously when it comes to team selection for the Wanderers game next Saturday"
One on-looker commented that he thought only 4 of the East Antrim players could hold their heads up and say that they had performed to an adequate standard.
East Antrim 2nd XI
East Antrim 2nd XI had a bad day also. Ballysillan Leisure Centre had double booked their astroturf pitch and East Antrim were forced to play their match against Newry on the unfamiliar shale pitch at Ballyclare Road. Stephen Duffin scored East's only goal in a 2-1 defeat which is a set-back to their title charge.
Team captain, Robert Gibson, said "It was just one of those days when everyone under-achieved. I would be convinced that had the game gone ahead at Ballysillan, however, we would not have been beaten"