South Antrim 2nds 3
Glenanne 2nds 7
Last Saturday South Antrim Seconds made the trip to Dublin to face Glenanne, for the quarter final of the Irish Junior Cup.
The very young South side started brightly going toe to toe with their vastly more experienced opponents, some of whom have played in the newly formed IHL this season.
The Lisburn side were defensively solid, marshalled by the youthful centre back pairing of Phil Spaughton and Matt Fraser.
Also in the early stages the forwards were causing the Dublin side’s back line problems as Neil Wilson and James Brown took the game to the home team.
Ten minutes in the home side broke the deadlock with a well worked goal down the South Antrim left. Soon after Glenanne doubled their lead after a well executed short corner.
Despite being two goals down at the break the Lisburn team still felt like they were very much in the game, but realised the next goal was crucial.
Unfortunately Glenanne realised this too and caught South Antrim cold from the restart with a goal.
This seemed to knock the wind out of the travelling team’s sails as the Dublin side piled on the pressure and they were duly rewarded with a fourth goal.
This goal stirred the away team into action. And in this period the Lisburn side got their first opening of the half.
James Brown picked up on a well weighted through ball and as he was taking it round the keeper he was fouled and the umpire awarded a penalty stroke.
Midfield dynamo Darren Hutchinson stepped up and dispatched the stroke to the keeper’s right beating him for pace and placement.
South Antrim didn’t rest on their laurels, they pressed on in search for a second goal.
They made inroads down the left side of the pitch through Nathan Gamble, linking up well with the pacy veteran Chris Arnott.
And it was through this combination that the Lisburn team won the short corner that set up their second goal.
The initial drag flick was well saved low to the goalkeepers left but the rebound was coolly finished by Mark Conn at the right hand post.
At 4-2 Glenanne and their coaching staff were growing more and more concerned with South’s increasing influence on the game.
This led to minor personnel alterations which had the desired effect for the home side as they scored two quick goals effectively killing the tie off with 10 minutes still left on the clock.
Credit to the young Lisburn team they kept attacking, and their endeavors paid off when Mark Conn got his second goal as he cut along the base line and lifting it over the onrushing keeper and tuck the ball inside the far post.
In the dying minutes Glenanne got a seventh goal when the away team had lost concentration after a staggering amount of effort and energy expelled during the 70 minutes.
South Antrim can be pleased with their performance against a very strong Glenanne side.
They can also take great pride in getting to the quarter final of such a prestigious cup competition.
Thanks have to go to South’s eager supporters who made the 200 mile round trip.