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Press Release - 01/12/2003

East Antrim Hockey Club
1st December 2003

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


It might have been the jealousy of seeing Portadown 2nds picking up the team of the month award for October that sparked fellow Junior League 5 outfit, East Antrim 2nds, into action last month. Then again, maybe the attacking style of play started to pay dividends. After 6 league games, the team had just 1 point, but November saw maximum points gained in style. A 5-1 victory over Newry was followed by a 5-1 victory over Lisnagarvey and a 2-0 victory over Cookstown.

Last weekend's 7 goal thriller saw the East Antrim team emerge victorious over Raphoe - 5-2, the winning margin. Can the Sam McCullough Insurance Services team of the month award for November be making its way to North Belfast?

The team's player of the month, Phil Irwin, hit a rich vein of form by grabbing 4 goals (as did Stephen Swann and Aaron Young). Phil was a live-wire all month tormenting defences with his attacking brilliance, but team captain Swann was more than pleased with other aspects of the team's performance:

"We were free-scoring at the start of the season but we didn't seem to have a clue when it came to preventing the opposition from scoring. Now that we have secured our defences, our all-action attacking play is having an effect."

Keeping the team together, however, is going to be the major challenge over the next few weeks. The young team will face Christmas work pressures and exam pressures in addition to the likelihood that they will be promoted to the 1st XI. However, the beauty of a winning team is that it encourages the players to want to play!

The feel-good factor generated by the 2nd XI's success has also started to have an impact on the 1st XI as they also had an unbeaten November. They secured wins over Omagh and Wolfhounds in addition to a draw against Larne.

Of course, all good runs must come to an end at some point and both 1st XI and 2nd XI face very tough away trips this weekend to Parkview and Portrush, respectively. Both East Antrim teams have lost to these opponents already this season!