South Antrim Seconds played away to Newry Seconds in their final Junior 1 League Cup group schedule on Saturday.
Missing star player John Semple, after he was called up to the 1sts at short notice, left the team with just 11 players to make the trip.
This really took its toll as Newry cruised to a 7-2 win.
A positive from the game was that Neil Wilson scored for the fifth week in succession, he is in good form and can hopefully provide the goals in the league opener this weekend against Kilkeel 2nds. Darren Hutchinson scored the other South goal.
The 3rds made the journey to Ballycastle for the late 4pm pass back slot. South made a strong start and put Portrush under pressure.
Pete Davis and John Massey, called up to the 3rds on the back of fine performances on the 5ths, controlled the team from the back and closed the door on any Portrush attack.
Adam Thompson and Jonny Dunne helped to push the team forward from wing back positions, aiding in attack when they could. Kurt Gamble was the hero who secured the points, he span his marker and used his pace to create space for the shot before drilling into the bottom corner on his 3rds debut.
South Antrim defended strongly against the final, desperate Portrush attacks to bring the three points back home. Next week sees South Antrim start the league season at home against Cookstown 5ths.
South Antrim 4ths played their final group game in their League Cup after making the trip to Hillsborough, to play Lisnagarvey 6ths.
In a tight first half with few chances, Stuart Glenn had the best opportunity; but his quick reactions to get away a shot were matched by the Garvey Keeper.
Lisnagarvey, on the other hand, made the most of their best chance and scored from a well worked short corner making it 1-0 at half time.
South came out strongly in the second half and looked the better side for long spells before getting their reward with a well taken volley from Alan Smith after two fine saves by the opposition keeper from a South short.
South pressed on and were rewarded with another goal after a precise pass from Ian McElhenny found the always clinical Junior Hamilton unmarked in the D and he gave the goalkeeper no chance stroking the ball into the bottom corner.
However towards the end of the game South were exposed by Garvey’s youthful pace, who capitalised on some tiring legs with several good counter attacks and went on to score 3 goals leaving South on the wrong side of a 4-2 score line.
It was a day to forget for the 5ths as they returned from Stormont with nothing, Chris Black scored from a short corner to go one goal up, Civil Service then hit 6 before Simon Taggart netted from open play, Service then romped in another three to close out the game that South barely took part in, ending 9-2.
Although they were missing players, the boys realize they underperformed and know they have to be better, especially with the League commencing this weekend. The 5ths play North Down 5ths away in Comber.