SOUTH ANTRIM 10 ARMAGH 0
A BITTERLY cold wind blew across the Laurelhill pitch, but South Antrim put in a performance to warm all the supporters who turned up to watch them make it seven wins from their last eight matches and in the process put the visiting Armagh team to the sword.
Wary of the mishaps that can occur having dropped points to a Ballynahinch side that were eventually relegated a few seasons back South were eager to avoid any complacency going into the game.
Indeed they were on the score sheet early as Paul Maguire deflected a cross past the hapless Armagh keeper inside the first couple of minutes.
Despite some nice possession hockey from the home team, Armagh, with all their players in their own half for much of the game were able to prevent South from adding to the scoreline until the twentieth minute when a nice flick on by John Semple was rifled into the roof of the net by Ward Phillips.
Five minutes later it was three nil when Paul Maguire was there to finish off from a short corner, rounding off the scores in the first half.
The second half began much how the first had and although Paul Maguire secured his hat trick shortly after the restart it was all about the mercurial John Semple.
At one stage he twisted and turned a bewildered defender nutmegging the same player twice before unleashing a reverse stick cross for Maguire to bag his fourth.
Semple, on another mazy run unleashed a powerful shot that struck an Armagh player, resulting in a short corner which Ricky O’Neill dispatched with power.
Stunned by his sheer brilliance they watched as Semple, danced round one defender and then another slipped it past the keeper for Maguire to get his fifth and South’s seventh of the match.
The confidence was flowing throughout the home team at this stage and so were the goals.
For the eighth goal Semple again, this time at a short corner set up Adam Glass and minutes later Ricky O’Neill smashed home from the edge of the circle with some frustration after a few hard tackles on him on his way to the circle.
The goal scoring was completed a minute from time when Ward Phillips sent a pass to Adam Glass who was able slot home at the back post as South hit double figures to maintain their momentum leading into next weeks crunch game against North Down.