South Antrim Seconds got their season back on track and kept promotion hopes alive with this comprehensive 5-1 victory over Belfast rivals Instonians Thirds at Friends School.
South had endured a couple of tough weeks with a penalty shoot-out exit from the McClements Cup followed by a heavy defeat at the hands of promotion rivals Banbridge, but put these set-backs behind them and put in a performance which was more familiar to the watching spectators.
The game started with Inst applying some early pressure which South managed to resist. In the first real attack of any venom, South took the lead when Mark Campbell was first to meet the rebound from the goalkeeper’s pads after a John Semple shot and calmly found the corner of the net.
The rest of the first half was evenly contested with Inst winning several penalty corners but Jo Novares in goal for South was giving nothing away.
The second half saw the Lisburn team begin to exert some control with the midfield of Mark Campbell, Craig Campbell and James Brown looking assured.
The second goal arrived early on when Darren Hutchinson pounced on a loose ball and fed Mark Conn on the right wing who carried to the by-line and fed Neil Wilson in mid circle, where he finished in style to add to his growing tally of goals for the season.
Darren Hutchinson himself then got on the score sheet with a tap in at the back post following a deflected shot from Neil Wilson.
Inst hadn’t given up all hope, however, and a penalty corner was neatly converted to make the score 3-1.
The scoring continued when Craig Campbell, not to be out-done by his younger brother, found himself with a free strike at a penalty corner and found the roof of the net via a defender’s foot.
James Brown completed the scoring when he found space at the back post and converted a pin-point pass from skipper Ian Glass.
This was a much improved display from South, in particular the defence, who showed much more composure than in the previous two games.
It will take this sort of discipline in the final four games to ensure that South can secure that promotion slot.