South Antrim 8 Antrim 2
Saturday afternoon saw championship hopefuls South Antrim take on Antrim Hockey Club at Friends’ School Lisburn.
Despite the torrid weather conditions, the home side’s supporters were treated to a gripping 10 goal thriller.
The match did not start according to plan, however, with the away side taking an early lead.
Despite this surprise early set back South quickly found their feet in the game and were soon back on level terms through a well taken short corner by Adam Glass.
South deservedly took the lead soon after with a close range finish from Paul Maguire after an Adam Glass reverse stick shot rebounded back off the post.
Once in front the title challengers never looked back and as the half came to a close they extended their lead with perhaps the move of the game.
Captain Lee Marshall won the ball back inside his own half, quickly transferred the ball to Mathew Getty who broke free down the left hand side and squared the ball beautifully for Paul Maguire to finish first time through the legs if the on-rushing Antrim goalkeeper.
This was a perfect example of counter attacking hockey and allowed the home side to enter half time with a 3-1 lead.
South managed to further increase their lead to 4-1 through a Patric Cochrane penalty stroke.
Antrim managed to reduce the deficit after a well-placed shot found the corner of the South goal.
With the match entering its final 20 minutes and the rain beginning to fall even harder, South’s quality and superior fitness began to shine through. ‘Super sub’ Mathew Getty put the result beyond doubt with a quick fire brace by way of two confidently executed finishes following quality build up play from the likes of Simon Watt and Lee Marshall.
Chris Henry then extended South’s lead further, to 7-2, after bundling home a short corner after some good work from Simon Watt.
The home side completed the rout in the final seconds of the game after Mathew Getty broke through the Antrim defence once more and unselfishly squared the ball to Maguire who found the back of the net to complete both his hat trick and an 8-2 South Antrim victory.
This win saw South maintain their four point lead at the top of the table with a match in hand on second place. Next week South travel to Portrush in another important match as the league season begins to reach its final straight.