The Annual Club Boxing Day hockey match between the Under 30’s and the Over 30’s went ahead as usual this year with the pre Christmas banter, mostly on the modern ‘Whats App’ method of communication. Lists of players promising to appear flooded in as usually but not unexpectedly only the stalwarts turned up to play on what was a dull, wet and cold morning. The match eventually started almost half an hour behind schedule but it turned out to be an enjoyable high scoring battle between youth and experience with International Paul Gleghorne making a special appearance, guesting for the Over 30’s team. In the second minute Lloyd Kane broke into the circle to get in a fierce drive but goalkeeper Cameron O’Neill somehow blocked the shot and the ball was cleared away. Then a Sammy Clyde interchange with Jason Roe allowed Adam Morrison to open the scoring in the 6th minute from a strong edge of circle drive. But within two minutes Andy Heatley latched on to a Lloyd Kane pass to crash the ball into the net at the other end to level up the scores. As the game progressed the Over 30’s goalkeeper O’Neill was in action blocking shots from Ryan McCrea, Jason Roe, Sammy Clyde and Adam Morrison but in the 20th minute a Stu Kernaghan interchange with Stuart McIlroy allowed Andy Heatley to latch on to a deflection to fire the ball into the net to give the Over’s the 2-1 lead. In the 25th minute the Over’s won their first penalty corner of the game and up stepped Paul Gleghorne to slam the ball against the backboards to give his team the 3-1 lead which they easily held until half time arrived. As the second half progressed, with Paul Gleghorne directing things from the back, the veterans looked the more assured and all got a lesson from his accurate passing along the ground or from high scoops over defenders into space. Stuart Kernaghan, David Allen, McIlroy and Lloyd Kane used their experience and skill to pressurise their younger opposition defenders. But in the 43rd minute from a surprise break down the left a pass from McCrea was picked up in the circle by Lyle Kane who turned quickly to drive the ball under the diving O’Neill to score his team’s second goal. Adam and Jack Morrison were linking well with Thomas Allen, Lyle Kane and Mark Patterson to press the opposition before another 50th minute Paul Gleghorne penalty corner shot made it 4-2 to the veterans. Then a quick break forward by the Under’s saw the speedy Thomas Allen fire the ball into the goalmouth where the predator Lyle Kane nipped in behind the defence to guide it into the net for his team third goal and despite the all out attack in the remaining few minutes the flagging veterans manage to hold on to seal the 4-3 victory. Special mention to Adrian Murtland, Marty Kane, Jimmy Gleghorne, David Allen and Dean Kane for coming out of retirement to play in this game and to Adam Morrison, Thomas Allen and Kregg Higgins returned from afar to partake in and enjoy the match. Thanks also go to Leslie Allen who used all his umpiring skills to make sure that everyone enjoyed the game.
Antrim Hockey Club was pleased to use this event to support the Women’s Aid – ABCLN Charity and before the game their representative Arlene Creighton explained to everyone about Woman’s Aid and the tremendous work they do. Players signed the White Ribbon Charter pledging to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. A collection was held from players and spectators raising a fantastic £157 for Women’s Aid ABCNL
Over 30’s Squad – C O’Neill, M Kane, J Gleghorne, D Mailey, P Gleghorne, A Murtland, S Kernaghan, A Heatley, T Monahan, S McIlroy, Lloyd Kane, K Higgins, D Kane and D Allen.
Under 30’s Squad – B Kennedy, N Murdock, S Clyde, J Roe, J Kernaghan, M Patterson, A Morrison, J Morrison, S Gammon, T Allen, Lyle Kane, R McCrea, C Wilson and J Lavery.
Matches scheduled for this weekend – Antrim v Portrush – Friday 3rd January at the Forum with an 8pm start. – Antrim Seconds v CIYMS Seconds – Saturday 4th January with a 1pm start. – Antrim Thirds v Civil Service Thirds at Stormont with a 230pm start