Success against Antim team despite ‘no easy game’ for Portrush Hockey

SAVED. The Portrush shot-stopper keeps the ball from entering the net following a short corner on Saturday.INBM44-14 023SC.
SAVED. The Portrush shot-stopper keeps the ball from entering the net following a short corner on Saturday.INBM44-14 023SC.

Portrush 1st XI 5 - 3 Antrim 1st XI

In the second league fixture of the season, Portrush faced Antrim, a solid team who weren’t going to let Portrush have an easy game.

STICK TO IT. Action from the Portrush v Antrim clash at the Quay Road on Saturday.INBM44-14 022SC.

STICK TO IT. Action from the Portrush v Antrim clash at the Quay Road on Saturday.INBM44-14 022SC.

Feeling confident Portrush were on the hunt for the win and determined not to take any less than 3 points from the game. As the game commenced it wasn’t long before Portrush had an impact on the match. Within 5 minutes Portrush won their first short corner of the game, and with a deflection from Aaron Kerr after John Dillon’s superb it, the goal was found to make it 1-nil

Throughout the first half Portrush kept coming close to scoring again, with good attacking play from the forwards and particularly winning more short corners having 3 more during the first 35 mins. The game wasn’t all one sided as Antrim were good on the counter attacks. Antrim where also good at winning short corners but the Portrush defence it seemed couldn’t be beaten with good performances for right back Ryan smith and left back Philip Linton so no more goals where to come in the first half

However after the break Portrush couldn’t get back into their rhythm and Antrim won the first short corner of the second half which they converted to make it all even at 1-1

It wasn’t long before Antrim again winning another short corner were able to score to take the lead at 1-2

For the first time in the game Portrush were on the back foot, which came as a wake up call until Portrush where able to take control of the game, and with a great run up the right from Callum Mckeeman could take it into the Antrim D, he was able to push the ball past the Antrim keeper to make it even again at 2-2

With Portrush morale back through the roof it wasn’t long before the ports took the lead, when Callum Mckeeman yet again causing trouble in the Antrim defence fired away a decent shot which the Antrim keeper saved but with a rebound Callum was able to beat the keeper a second time to make it 3-2

Continuing to play well Portrush kept pressing the Antrim defence wanting more goals to secure the win. Which seemed more likely as Portrush were awarded a penalty flick and John Dillon was able to step up to the mark and throw a precise flick by the Antrim keeper to make it 4-2

As the second half carried on Antrim were able to find more and more of the ball, after winning another short corner Antrim were able to put the pressure back on as they made it 4-3

Under the pressure Portrush fought on and with not long left Portrush put the game to bed, as Andrew Christie was able to storm through the Antrim defence to find Graeme Christie at the back post as he put away Portrush’s 5th of the game to make it 5-3

With the match ending up at 5-3 Portrush earned their first 3 points in the senior one league which is a great boost for the team and will surely be the start of many more. Also good performances from the forwards with John Dillon and Callum Mckeeman scoring 2. Portrush will travel to Raphoe this Friday evening for a tough game against a tough side, so continuing the great work will happen this week at training

Portrush 1st XI:- Gordon McAlister (GK) Neil McMaster (C) Ryan Smith Philip Linton Aaron Kerr (VC) Leon Smith Callum Mckeeman Andrew Christie Brent Smith Graeme Christie John Dillon Craig Henry Andrew McConaghie Barry Mcmullan Scott Horner

Man of the match:- Philip Linton