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Press Release - 10/11/1996

East Antrim Hockey Club
10 November 1996

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


East Antrim 1st XI visited the idyllic settings of the Queen's University playing fields at Malone on Saturday in one of only two Intermediate League matches to be played that day.

East Antrim, trying to exact revenge for the three defeats at the hands of the Old Boys the previous season, were unchanged for the first time this season.

The match started briskly with the Glengormley men enjoying almost total possession for the first 20 minutes. Penalty corner after penalty corner was awarded to East Antrim as the Queens defence struggled against the attacking runs of Aaron McDonald and Neal Hermon. With the sun low in the sky, however, conditions were difficult for both the home defence and the umpires. McDonald had a glorious opportunity to open the scoring denied by a first class reaction from the Queens' keeper. East Antrim left back, Alan Murphy even found himself some space in the home team's penalty circle.

It came as no surprise to the spectators when the first goal of the contest went East Antrim's way, when a powerful shot from veteran Hughes was saved by the keeper only for Hermon to react quickly and turn the rebound into the back of the net. East Antrim, however, took the foot of the pedal for the remainder of the first half, allowing Queens the luxury of some pressure on Simon Hunter's goal.

Swapping Aaron McDonald from left wing to right wing at half-time gave the visitors an outlet for many a cross, but still the score-line remained 1-0. Scott Higginson, however, should have doubled the score when he found himself 5 yards from goal with only the keeper to beat. Higginson fluffed his shot, but worse was to come as a Queens defender and him both received yellow cards. Indeed Queens found themselves down to 9 players when another was dismissed from the field of play for dissent.

Stanley Donnan at the heart of the Queens midfield started to find some space despite the close attentions of Allen Hull as Queens began to press for an equaliser, but it was East Antrim that always looked the more likely to score. When Tim Browne was introduced to the action, it turned out to be the visitors that added to the score when Hermon neatly laid off a pass to Browne, whose shot was never going to be stopped.

A clean sheet was guaranteed for Simon Hunter when in the dying seconds he took a Stanley Donnan shot of the line with an outstretched leg. The final scoreline of 2-0 to East Antrim was the first points in the league campaign for the men in green.

The Junior League 5 game at Newry for East Antrim 2nds was delayed 15 minutes because 3 of the East Antrim team members forgot to turn left at Sprucefield and ended up in Armagh. The game, however, did go East Antrim's way when club top scorer Colin Black scored twice to take his goal scoring tally to 12 in 6 matches. David Haggan, one of the three strays that day, was credited with both assists for Black.

The 3rd XI were hoping to extend their run of 4 successive wins in Junior League 8 at the Valley Leisure Centre. Portadown, however, had different plans and despite total domination from the East Antrim team, it was Portadown that took the lead. But for an Andrew Lunn equaliser, the game would have turned out to be a disaster for the promotion chasing 3rd XI. George Armstrong was nominated as the East Antrim man of the match and said "Just one of those days when the ball refuses to go into the net"