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Press Release - 05/10/1997

East Antrim Hockey Club
05 October 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 Hockey Club's 1st XI took on the might of South Antrim at the Valley Leisure Centre - a game the visitors had good reason to believe they would win. South Antrim's record against the Glengormley men has been very impressive in recent years.

Obviously East Antrim hadn't read the script as the piled on the pressure on the South Antrim goal right from the start. Within 5 minutes, Alan Burgess drifted past three defenders and piledrived a shot into the back of the net. It was Burgess' fifth goal in just four games.

The pressure was unrelenting, but the second goal didn't come. The East Antrim midfield of Higginson, McDonald and Caldwell, dominated the match whilst the defence looked more than comfortable.

As is the norm with East Antrim matches, the opposition did get back into the game when a penalty stroke was awarded following a Klinsmann type fall by the South Antrim left winger. The stroke was converted to equalise the scores.

Minutes later another dubious decision went South's way resulting in a penalty corner which again was converted.

The wind was not knocked out of the East Antrim team as demonstrated by their response. Again the team bossed the match and should have gone into the half-time break all square but Neal Hermon's effort came back of the post and away to safety.

The second half began with some pressure from South Antrim - soaked up with little bother by Wallace, Swann and Picken in defence. With the home support beginning what can only be described as a Mexican wave, the men in green pushed once again. Raymond Hughes stepped out of his sweeper role to take a free hit just outside the South Antrim penalty area. When he received the ball back from Burgess, he picked his spot and slotted home the equaliser.

With 15 minutes to go, it was East Antrim on top once again. Despite the relentless pressure, however, the winning goal did not come.

Team captain, Stephen Swann, remarked afterwards "South Antrim are regarded as one of the top three teams in the league. To dominate a match against them is a great achievement. Before the match, I would have been happy with a 2-2 draw. But having played in it, I can only feel disappointed with the result."

Man of the match was Scott Higginson for his grit and determination.

East Antrim 1st XI team : J Hamill, R Hughes, S Swann (captain), S Wallace, C Picken, D Caldwell, Adam McDonald, S Higginson, A Burgess, N Hermon, N Bane.

2nds Fluke A Win
East Antrim 2nd XI played hosts to a Lisnagarvey team at Ballysillan Leisure Centre. With a severely depleted team, the 2nds set about keeping the score down, only to find that Lisnagarvey were totally inept when in front of goal.

Vice-Captain, Leon Currie, did his duty as a centre-forward when he scored his first of the season - a goal which was totally against the run of play. Simon Hunter, 2nd XI captain, was delighted with the result "A win is a win - despite the manner in which it was obtained. This team is going through some radical changes at present, so this result should boost their confidence."

Darren Martin took his 3rd XI to Newry for their Junior League 7 clash with Newry 6ths. This was their first league game since gaining promotion unexpectedly just days before. With Collegians dropping out of the league, East Antrim took their place and acquited themselves very well in thrashing out an awe-inspiring 0-0 draw.

Unfortunately, Tom Watson's 4th XI, did not fare so well. A 7-1 defeat at the hands of North Down was their result in what was the first 4th XI game for 6 years. Debutant, Paul Fraser, scored the consolation, but Tom was in optimistic mood. "We only found out at a very late stage that our keeper had decided not to play hockey this year. If we had had a keeper of any ability, we would have kept the scoreline very respectable.