This was a must-win game for Portrush II in their quest for league honours and on this display there’s confidence in the squad that the title is there for the taking with just three games left in the season.
Portrush began the game with a determined and cohesive approach, dominating the visitors in every department and taking the lead after ten minutes with Andy Dalzell finding the target.
The home side were unlucky not to have got two more goals; firstly Scott Horner hit a thunderous shot which shaved the woodwork and this was followed by another fine effort by Barry McMullan only to see the post coming to Antrim’s rescue.
The second goal followed from a short corner with the ball reaching defender Peter McMullan whose strongly-struck shot beat the ‘keeper. While Portrush were generally in control, Antrim looked dangerous at times and when the ball was hit into the ‘D’ an Antrim player connected in mid-air to beat David McMullan with an unstoppable shot.
The second half was largely a tale of Portrush domination, stepping up the pace to ensure victory. Graeme Kerr controlled the midfield and Andy McConaghy was on hand to prevent any counter attacks.
The third goal was a peach. A high ball from Andy Dalzell found James McCook who finished with a superb shot from the edge of the ‘D’ but it was the fourth goal that gave everyone extra cause for celebration with captain Craig Hogg sealing the game with his first ever goal for the club.
Portrush, who played some attractive hockey despite the poor conditions, were home and dry but in the final stages Antrim threatened and only for a goal-stopping tackle by John McMullan the visitors would have nicked a second strike. There was a welcome return to the club by former Ballycastle High School student Stuart Adams who came on as a second half substitute ‘keeper.
Portrush II: David McMullan, Peter McMullan, Andy McConaghy, John McMullan, Josh Hutchinson, Graeme Kerr, Jonnie Watton, Craig Hogg, Scott Horner, James McCook, Andy Dalzell, Adam Holmes, Barry McMullan, Stuart Adams, Ricky McKinnon, Philip Linton
MOTM: Graeme Kerr