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Press Release - 16/03/1997

East Antrim Hockey Club
16 March 1997

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


EAST ANTRIM FACE LARNE

An understrength East Antrim team traveled the short distance to Mossley Hockey Club to play against a Larne team, leading the way in the Intermediate League. Despite missing key players, East Antrim dominated the first ten minutes of play, frustrating the Larne team with their spoiling tactics in the middle of the park.

Despite the initial domination, however, the Larne 'keeper was rarely troubled. When Larne stepped up a gear half-way through the first half, it was East Antrim on the back foot. A well taken short corner was turned past the post by David Caldwell, but Larne's opening goal was not long in coming. Despite twice preventing the inevitable, Johnny Hamill could do little about the second follow-up from the Larne strikers.

Delicately poised, the game continued at a frantic pace with Larne edging the remainder of the first half. The second half began in much the same manner with East Antrim finding it difficult to work their way out of defence and find their front men. A nasty deflection inside the East Antrim circle beat Hamill for the second goal of the game, but Larne were also finding it difficult to create clear-cut scoring chances.

Indeed the last 15-20 minutes of the game belonged to East Antrim. Robert Gibson proved that he can score goals for the 1st XI as well as the 2nd XI when he pounced on an opportunity after good work from Caldwell. With only one goal in it, a speculative effort hit the framework of the Larne goal with the umpire seemingly unsure as to whether the ball struck the back stantion or the front post. The Glengormley men managed to force a few short corners but never looked liked scoring from them.

East Antrim were then reduced to 10 men when, in a moment of madness, Caldwell was shown the red card. Fortunately, Larne were unable to take advantage of the situation and game came to a conclusion with the score reading Larne 2, East Antrim 1.

East Antrim - J Hamill, R Hughes, S Swann (captain), A Murphy, Aaron McDonald, A Burgess, A Hull, D Caldwell, Adam McDonald, N Hermon, T Browne, R. Gibson

East Antrim 3rd XI got their season back on the right track with a victory over the Civil Servants from Stormont at the Valley Leisure Centre. A goal 3 minutes from the end of the game was good enough to take both points of what turned out to be a very even contest. Team captain, Tom Watson, was denied his second goal of the season. Following a penalty corner, Tom found space inside the circle and powered a shot beneath the advancing keeper. A Civil Service defender, however, prevented the ball from crossing the line with an outstretched foot. An apparently unsighted umpire, however, waved play to continue.

Andrew Lunn and Leon Currie, both playing in attack, provided the main outlets for the East Antrim team. Currie skipped past two defenders mid-way through the second half to find himself one on one against the keeper. Hesitation, however, gave the keeper the opportunity to make the save. Vice-captain, Paul Reid, industrious in midfield, was involved in a collision and ended up with a broken nose, again! He played on, despite the pain.

The winning goal came after a blunder in the Civil Service defence. Chris Picken collected the ball on the goal line and drilled a cross to the far post, were Richard McCullough was lurking. McCullough controlled the ball and struck hit into the back of the net.

East Antrim - M McQuillan, K Skelton, T Watson (captain), P Leitch, D Martin, P Reid, C Picken, S Wallace, A Lunn, L Currie, R McCullough, G Hooks