Disappointment for the Thirds on travels

Action from the match between Lisnagarvey 2 and South Antrim, at Comber Road. US1602-507cd  Picture: Cliff Donaldson
Action from the match between Lisnagarvey 2 and South Antrim, at Comber Road. US1602-507cd Picture: Cliff Donaldson

South Antrim 3rds travelled to Newry for the late hit off time of 4pm, made later when the game was delayed for 20 minutes to allow Newry 3rds to make up their numbers from players returning from an earlier away game.

It started all South with early pressure telling as George Glass netted to put the Lisburn side a goal up.

They failed to capitalise and add more goals before Newry’s bench warmed up and came on.

From then on, the game ran away from South and they were on the back foot for long periods.

It took to the second half for Newry’s dominance to pull through, the weakened South side tired and with little on the bench to call to for rest, mistakes started to happen.

One such mistake allowed Newry to equalize and then they stole all the points when they drilled home a second.

South Antrim 4ths made the long travel to Omagh with an understrength team to play Derg Valley 1sts. With both sides cagy in the first half South played some nice hockey with no real chances and a brief moment of poor defending let Derg Valley take the lead in a fairly even first half. Some halftime adjustments allowed South to adapt and come out stronger. Soon they got their equaliser through some fine work by Archie Collins with a crisp hit from the right side of the circle leaving the goalkeeper with no chance. Buoyed by the equaliser South scored a brilliant team goal starting on the half way line with some exquisite passing leading to Archie Cousins playing a great pass to Alan Hamilton Junior who finished, as we all know he can, with a deft shot into the bottom corner. However, South sat back on their lead and allowed Derg Valley to get an equaliser of their own following a deflected shot that left Andrew Wallace wrong footed and with no chance. South knew the game was their’s for the taking and Cameron Ullman drove into the circle and hit a strong, off balance shot that caught the goalkeeper off guard and allowed South to grab the late winner.

Having beaten Harlequin’s 3rds earlier in the season South 5ths were looking to start the new year with a win. However, with a much changed Harlequins side taking the field and some of the regular 5ths playing for the 4ths, it was not too be.  South started brightly and were a goal within five minutes. Having won a free in the Quin’s final quarter Gary McCormack switched the ball across to Maurice Bell. He fed the ball to Ian McElhinney whose reverse stock strike found the back of the net. Quin’s threatened with their centre midfielder dominating the play but young Sloan in nets kept the score 1-0 at half time. However, two minutes into the 2nd half, indecisiveness in the south defence let Quin’s through to equalise.  Quin’s pressed and won a series of short corners but with Wallace turning a drag flick round the post and Sloan palming another away Quin’s couldn’t capitalise. However, another defensive error was South’s undoing, as Quin’s took the lead. With time running out young Ben Faulkner was through on goal but was taken down from behind by the Quin’s defender to win a short corner but couldn’t convert.

South Antrim 2nds made the short trip out to Comber Road to face league leaders Lisnagarvey 2nds. Garvey’s team boasted many ex first team players and many young Ulster players and they proved to be too strong for South’s side. Credit to Garvey who put on a great display of goal scoring as South just didn’t turn up to the races. Garvey ran out 7-0 winners in a game where South’s chances were limited and they just could hold on to possession.