Press Release - 30/09/1996
East Antrim Hockey Club
30 September 1996
For further information, contact:
Press Release Officer - East Antrim Hockey Club
34 Carnmoney Road, Newtownabbey, BT36 6HP
078 0316 7731
EAST ANTRIM V OMAGH
To say that the elements played a major part in the outcome of the Intermediate Cup tie between Omagh and East Antrim would be an understatement. Torrential rain in Omagh on a heavy shale pitch did not provide the ideal setting for a classic encounter.
East Antrim set about the business of trying to find a way through the Omagh defence with varying degrees of success. Certainly, the East Antrim forward line were found with precision passes on numerous occassions, but an uneven surface made control of the ball very difficult. The penalty corner squad of Neal Hermon, Alan Burgess and Mark Watson found it very difficult to manage worthwhile shots on target.
David Caldwell had the most entertaining moment of a very dull first half, when his stick slipped through his fingers after striking the ball, flew through the air and hit an Omagh defender around the knees.
A half-time score of 0-0 meant a rough team-talk for the visiting team. The Glengormley men took to the pitch for the second half in a more determined mood. Neal Hermon had a reverse stick flick from the edge of the circle saved by an outstretched palm and Alan Burgess had a shot taken off the line by the pads of the goalkeeper. Domination of possession, however, does not count for much without the goals, as the East Antrim men found out when the final whistle blew with the score still standing at 0-0.
Stephen Swann, 1st XI captain, said "I was disappointed that we didn't manage to step up a gear and force a couple of goals. We have to learn how to win matches - we've been too used to defending matches in the past, which is demonstrated by our lack of inventiveness around the opposition's goalmouth." The 1st XI team decided that Alan Burgess by awarded the 'Man Of The Match'.
Meanwhile, the Valley Leisure Centre saw East Antrim 2nd XI have a goal fest. Colin Black set up two goals, missed a penalty stroke and scored 5 himself in the 7-0 demolition of South Antrim. It was the 2nd XI first league match in the Junior League 5 campaign. Stephen Duffin and Tim Browne scored the other two in what was a Colin Black spectacular. Robert Gibson, 2nd XI captain, said "I knew we would have a good chance of gaining promotion for the 2nd year on the trot, but after that performance it is hard to see why we can't win every match we play."
Gibson did have gripes about his defence, stating that they did get caught on a number of occassions and could quite easily have been punished for their mistakes by higher quality opposition. 'Man of the Match' went to none other than Colin Black.