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Press Release - 08/09/1996

East Antrim Hockey Club
08 September 1996

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


HOCKEY INTERNATIONAL TURNS ON THE STYLE

On a sunblazed Saturday afternoon at the Valley Leisure Centre, East Antrim Hockey Club took on an Instonians 2nd XI in a pre-season friendly match. Stephen Swann, club captain, gave some of the progressing youth players in the club the opportunity to claim a place in the club's top team for the start of their Intermediate Cup campaign in two weeks time.

With the International Hockey Federation scrapping the "Offside Rule", it took East Antrim longer to get used to the new system they had adopted. Despite a lot of possession from the home team, it was Instonians who grabbed the first goal midway through the first half.

Neat interchanges involving Neal Hermon and Raymond Hughes should have brought about a quick equalizer but again it was Instonians who scored next, just before half-time.

After the restart, East Antrim began to get their passing game together, and a "mazey" run by Adam McDonald resulted in Michael Adams, on his first full game for the 1sts, powering a shot into the back of the net. Adams, 15, is enjoying a lot of success at present having been capped for Ireland in a recent tournament at Under 15 level.

5 minutes later the team in green had equalized with Michael Adams showing all the class of a natural hockey player, by flicking the ball over a diving keeper. East Antrim pressed for the winner, but it was not forthcoming and both teams had to settle for a 2-2 draw, with everyone agreeing that Man Of The Match should be Michael Adams.

Meanwhile, Robert Gibson took an East Antrim 2nd XI to Ballysillan Leisure Centre to face Civil Service, again in a pre-season friendly match.

After Civil Service had struck the post and the bar during the first period, East took a fortunate lead on the stroke of half-time through Paul Reid. Having a severely depleted team, Robert Gibson reorganized his midfield to good effect.

The second half saw East Antrim extend their lead through goals from David Haggan and Richard McCullough. Civil Service did get one goal back, but the final score ended in what seemed to be a comfortable 3-1 win.