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Press Release - 20/10/1996

East Antrim Hockey Club
20 October 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


EAST ANTRIM V ANNADALE

Last season's semi-finalists visited the Valley Leisure Centre to play this season's 1st round match in the Irish Junior Cup against an in-form East Antrim team. Confidence was high in the home team's dressing room after having beaten Crossgar the week before by four goals to nil.

Despite the confidence, it was Annadale that started the contest brighter. East Antrim stand-in goalkeeper, Paul Morrison, was on hand to prevent the Annadale attackers breaking the deadlock. With 15 minutes on the clock, Annadale converted a penalty corner award, with a well worked effort created by the close control skills of Brian Campbell. Within minutes, however, Scott Higginson was in the right place at the right time to fire home for the men in green after good work down the right flank from Neal Hermon and Alan Burgess.

Stepping up a gear, it was East Antrim that started to look the more dangerous as Annadale were baffled by the four man midfield employed by team captain Stephen Swann. Raymond Hughes reveled in his free role and played the entire match in plenty of space.

Annadale, during a good spell of possession for the visitors, were awarded another penalty corner just before half-time. Again Campbell created the opening for a carbon copy of their first goal.

The second half started the way the first half ended, with Annadale seemingly in control. After 10 minutes of the second half, however, East Antrim began to play with more confidence. Higginson, Hermon and Hughes were all unlucky not to get their names on the scoresheet and Mark Watson at right back found himself in acres of space in prominent positions. Still the equalizer eluded the home team.

Despite the almost total possession that East Antrim enjoyed, Annadale still looked very dangerous when breaking. Morrison, deputising for Johnny Hamill in the home team's goals, came away from the game with nothing but praise.

The final whistle blew with the score standing at 2-1 to the visitors, who showed their obvious relief at getting past this hurdle. For East Antrim, the following week's match away to Saintfield marks the beginning of the bread and butter competition - the League.

The East Antrim Man Of The Match award was given to team veteran - Raymond Hughes.