South Antrim 1 NICS 4
In the final Kirk Cup game of the group stage, South played host to Civil Service.
The opening spell of the game saw the home team control possession down the left hand side, with Jonny Patterson and Ward Phillips linking up well.
The midfield of Matthew Getty, Jack Redpath and Chris Henry were controlling the match well, acting as excellent outlets for the defence.
A surging run from Adam Glass and tireless work from Paul Maguire led to several shots on the opposition goal.
South also won their fair share of short corners, three in the opening exchanges, two of which were met with incredible saves from the visiting keeper.
As the interval drew closer, Service won a penalty corner and duly dispatched the drag flick past the helpless defence on the line. Despite being behind, South were positive going into the interval, that the points were there for the taking, if they could be more clinical in front of goal.
The start of the second half began and within minutes, South were two down.
A lapse in concentration from a defender on the ball led to a chance for Service. Mark Hutchinson in goal did well to deal with the initial shot, but the Service forward made no mistake with the rebound.
The goal stood, despite there being dubious dangerous play by the attacking team in the build up.
Within ten minutes, South had dropped further behind. A hopeful ball from the left side of the pitch crashed into the D found an attacker, who managed to squirm the ball past the keeper.
South unfortunately found themselves 3-0 down, despite having dominated possession and having more clear cut chances.
Young James Brown nearly hit back almost immediately for South, having his flick rattle the post after a slick penalty corner routine.
As the game wore on, South continued to make, and unfortunately, miss chances.
Rather disappointingly, another Service corner was won and scored with a drag flick.
The final moments of the game arrived and there was still time for a goal for the home side, and it was surely pick of the bunch.
South’s right wing back, Mark Gray, picked up the ball on the wide right of pitch, after a fine spread of play from Matthew Getty.
He drove past several defenders and weaved his way along the by-line.
When he reached the keeper, he faked a pass across goal and neatly slotted the ball into the empty net past the diving keeper from a tight angle.
Next week is the beginning of the league season at home to Kilkeel. South will be looking to get points on the board early.