CIYMS 3 – 0 ANTRIM
Following their surprise home defeat by Portrush a couple of weeks ago Antrim travelled to Belfast to play CIYMS in their next league match on Saturday. Missing three regulars, Antrim were up against a new squad of CIYMS players made up of mainly schoolboys recruited from nearby grammar schools in the area. CIYMS attacked from the start and won a few penalty corners, shots from which were saved by goalkeeper Andy Heatley or were fired wide. In Antrim’s first attack a few minutes later Chris Wilson’s snap shot was just wide. As the game progressed Antrim’s defenders McMeekin, Black, Mullan were content to pass the ball back and forwards to each other to slow the game down and look for the quick break forward through the home defence. CIYMS won another penalty corner in the 15th minute but the shot went wide. The home team were attacking freely down the right wing but their crosses into the circle were easily swept up by the Antrim defence. The second quarter started with the home team stepping up their pressure winning a 22nd minute penalty corner, the shot from which was somehow scrambled away. When an Antrim player became unwell midfielders Sammy Clyde and Dean Wilson were forced to drop back to try and stem the CIYMS attacks, leaving forwards Steve Gammon, Ryan McCrea and Chris Wilson trying unsuccessfully to make any impression on the home defence. Despite this the Antrim defence were comfortably breaking down any of the attacks that were coming their way as half time arrived. The third quarter continued in a similar vein with the Antrim defenders slowing down the play by passing the ball back and forward to each other waiting for the chance to play it forward to their best advantage. But in 47th minute disaster struck when a harmless ball being passed around the back was intercepted and played into the circle for Tom McClintock to reverse sweep it under the advancing Heatley to give the home team the lead. Despite this shock Antrim seemed powerless to change to more direct attacking tactics and as the quarter ended they won their first penalty corner of the game but the ball from Dean Wilson’s shot was deflected past off the goalkeeper’s pads. The last quarter was only two minutes old when the CIYMS winger broke into the circle from the right and was allowed to cross the ball into the goalmouth where David Hurley deflected it past the helpless Heatley for his team’s 2-0 lead. The confident young home team continued to press and the ball from a 55th minute penalty corner shot was brilliantly palmed away by Heatley. But goal number three came a few minutes later when CIYMS forward Paddy McKane was allowed to work the ball along the bye line to somehow squeeze it into the net. A 61st minute Antrim penalty corner came to nothing and the goalkeeper saved another strong shot in the 67th minute and the game ended with McCrea connecting with a Dean Wilson pass to reverse sweep the ball just over the crossbar. This week Antrim will play Armagh at the Paddy Marks Arena at 1pm in their next league match.
Antrim Squad:- A Heatley, N Black, A Mullan, J McMeekin, S Clyde, D Wilson, J Kirkpatrick, R Watt, R McCrea, C Wilson, S Gammon and S Campbell.
LISNAGARVEY SIXTHS 2 – 6 ANTRIM SECONDS
Antrim Seconds travelled to Hillsborough to play Lisnagarvey Sixths in their next league match on Saturday. Antrim attacked from the start and in the fifth minute a Mark Patterson cross into the circle saw Lyle Kane latch on to a poor defensive clearance and slam the ball into the net for the 1-0 lead. Antrim kept up the pressure and in the 11th minute Adam Pearce connected with a perfect pass from Mark Kingston to slip the ball under the advancing goalkeeper for goal number two. Half way through the second quarter a right wing cross from Josh Irwin allowed Kane to shoot goalwards to see the ball saved by the goalkeeper but he reacted first to fire it back into the net for the 3-0 lead. Antrim continued to press and in the 33rd minute Kane robbed the ball off the home centre back to guide it past the advancing goalkeeper into the net for his hat trick and goal number four. Then just before the end of the half an Antrim defender lost possession of the ball to allow an alert Lisnagarvey forward to belt the ball into the net past the helpless goalkeeper Cameron O’Neill to reduce the arrears. There was little between the teams in the third quarter and despite numerous chances there were no more goals scored. Antrim attacked from the start of the fourth quarter and in the third minute they won a penalty corner. The ball fell to Patterson and he switched it across the goalmouth where Kingston nipped in to deflect it into the net for the 5-1 lead. Then with 10 minutes remaining Kingston beat several players at the edge of the circle to play the ball across the goalmouth where the waiting Kane scored goal number six with a simple tap in. Then in the final minute Lisnagarvey scored again when, from a left wing cross into the goalmouth the ball was deflected into the net. Man of the Match was Lyle Kane who scored four goals and now must be knocking on the door for a place on the First team. Sincere thanks to the two Lisnagarvey umpires for their fair and efficient handling of the game. This week the Seconds travel to the Aurora Leisure Centre to play Bangor Thirds in their next league match.
Seconds Squad :- C O’Neill, M Coulter, J Kernaghan, N Murdock, J Lavery, M Patterson, M Kingston, L Kane, J Irwin, A Pearce and M Watt.
MOSSLEY FIFTHS 10 – 2 ANTRIM THIRDS
Antrim Thirds travelled to the Glade on Friday night for an 8:30pm push back to play Mossley Fifths. As per usual the team arrived in good time and went through a short but thorough pre-match warm-up. Antrim won the toss and opted to take the push-back and after their win last week, against Civil Service, they were quietly confident of a good team performance. Antrim were under pressure nearly straight away and the home team created at least two decent half chances in the opening couple of minutes. Then in the third minute Mossley easily scored in a sweeping move which left the sleeping Antrim defence totally outnumbered. Before the end of the first quarter Antrim were trailing 3-0 against a well organised and determined Mossley team. Antrim were surrendering possession far too easily with the experienced home side intercepting the ball with ease. Antrim then went 4-0 down with a cross in from the right being expertly finished by an unmarked Mossley player. Antrim then managed to reduce the deficit when a defender swept the ball into his own net after Tommy Monahan had crossed the ball in towards goal. Mossley then scored again from a breakaway attack with young goalkeeper Ben Kennedy being beaten in a one sided three to one attack. Antrim’s half time team talk was hot and heavy. Stuart Campbell, the Antrim captain outlined the changes he wanted and implored his side to stand-up and be counted. But despite the renewed enthusiasm it wasn’t going to be Antrim’s night. The home side were playing the ball with speed and accuracy whereas Antrim’s basics were poor. Thankfully the Antrim keeper Ben Kennedy didn’t let his head drop and despite Mossley being able to attack at will he made save after save. Mossley’s Gavin Weir was running the midfield and was finding far too much space to pass the ball, win frees and find unmarked players in the Antrim circle. With the score at 7-1 to Mossley, Antrim got a consolation goal with Monahan, Adam Pearce and Chris Roe linking well to allow young Josh Irwin to cleverly deflect the ball into the net. The home team scored another three without reply to seal the 10-2 victory in a very one sided game. Let’s hope this is a wakeup call and will encourage more players to attend training on a regular basis. Thanks to Antrim’s Jack Kirkpatrick and the Mossley umpire who both officiated in a fair and professional manner. The team wish Chris Roe a speedy recovery from his suspected hamstring injury which he picked up at Friday night’s match. This week the Thirds are at home to South Antrim Fourths in their next league match
Thirds Squad – B Kennedy, P Whiteside, S Campbell, K Wilson, A Pearce, J Lavery, J Kernaghan, T Monahan, C Roe, J Irwin, D Allen