League leaders South Antrim continued their assault on the Senior One title with a thrilling 6-2 victory in Portrush on Saturday, Adam Glass netting four.
If the windy weather didn’t serve as a wakeup call then the home side taking an early lead certainly did. Portrush went ahead inside the first five minutes after South gave possession away in their own circle, allowing the hosts to take advantage.
South Antrim, having to come back from behind for the third time in four weeks, did so quickly.
Simon Watt worked the ball well down the left wing, creating enough space to cross into the top of the Portrush circle. Adam Glass was on the end of the cross and, with a deft reverse stick pass behind himself, set up Ward Phillips, who was able to flick into the bottom corner.
South maintained most of the possession throughout the rest of the first half but weren’t unable to capitalise on any of their chances.
South continued their dominance winning a short corner which was cleared off the line by the Portrush defender’s foot after Chris Henry’s deflection. This led to a penalty stroke that Glass nonchalantly slotted past the keeper, after sending him the wrong way.
Finally in the lead, South continued to put on the pressure and were rewarded with another short corner that was switched left to Simon Watt who rifled towards the net, only to hit another defender’s foot on its way in to give the Lisburn side another stroke that Glass buried into the roof of the net.
South’s attack was rewarded with another short which allowed Paddy Cochrane to place the ball precisely into the corner to make it 4-1.
The North Coast men responded by winning a string of short corners in quick succession and eventually snuck a shot past the keeper through the crowded circle making the score 4-2.
With about ten minutes to go, the fifth goal for South Antrim came from another short corner that Glass put in the bottom right corner with a drag flick, completing his hat trick.
South Antrim’s right back, Mark Gray, was then shown a yellow card after a scything stick tackle on the left winger; a tackle resembling a lumberjack more than a hockey player.
With fewer men on the pitch, South were on the back foot before catching Portrush on the break as Paddy Cochrane was played through and casually rounded the keeper before being tackled by a stick without a player on the end. The umpire had no choice but to award a third penalty stroke.
On form, Glass took up the mantle once more and netted his fourth.