Junior hat-trick as Fours top the Fives in South derby

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In the midst of Hurricane Abilgail, South Antrim Fours blew away the Fifths with a 4-1 derby victory.

The heavy rain did not deter both teams from trying to play some attractive hockey. Both sides started brightly with the veteran Taylor trying to control the midfield for the Fourths but the youthful Bell cancelling him out.

A slight delay occurred 10 minutes in when the lights went out. A quick phone call and the match resumed 15 minutes later, just as the players had thawed out.

South Fourths won a string of short corners but the Fifths defence was resolute, keeping efforts from both Taylor and Smith at bay.

With 10 minutes left in the first half, Fifths player McElhinney found himself at the top of the circle with the keeper bearing down on him. With a cool head he deftly slipped the ball past the keeper into the net at the near post.

However, the lead was to be short lived when a Fourths break found Hamilton Junior in his trade mark position, at the back post to tap in the equaliser to make it 1-1 at half time.

Unfortunately, the Fives lost three key players with Mills and McElhinney having to leave early and Moore going off injured.

This didn’t deter the Fifths who started brightly looking to regain the lead, however, with sticks slipping in the wet, passes started going astray and Junior tapped in another after a loose pass was picked off.

The Fifths pushed harder but this left gaps for the Fourths to run into and young Campbell in one of his trademark one handed mazy runs scored with a reverse from the top of the circle.

South Fifths pushed harder with nothing to lose, but couldn’t get past the experienced Fourths keeper. With 10 minutes remaining, Junior competed his hat-trick of tap ins for the game to finish 4-1 to the Fourths.