Portrush met Downpatrick in the Semi-final of the Sussex cup at Deramore Park, Belfast Harlequins on Sunday for what was an excellent match of Hockey.
The match started with Portrush keeping the ball well and knocking the ball around the pitch with some ease. Both teams started quite slow and there were a limited number of clear cut chances for either team in the first 10 minutes. Portrush soon got a hold of the game but did not have any goals to show for it. Both Callum McKeeman and John Dillon had half chances but could not capitalise to score. There were more chances for Brent Smith and Aaron Kerr but again the Downpatrick defence and goalkeeper were on hand to defy the Portrush attack. With so much possession and chances in the first half, Portrush were disappointed at half time to have no goals. Half-time 0-0. The start of the second half was business as usual for Portrush and they kept the ball just as they had in the first half. The game was still very tight, with no team wanting to concede but when Neil McMaster picked the ball up just outside the circle he unleashed a deadly shot into the top left corner to send the players mad. 1-0. The Portrush players were now playing better now that the pressure was off and they capitalised on this as they doubled their lead from a short corner as John Dillon scored a reverse stick shot to put Portrush in a comfortable position. 2-0. After all the missed chances in the first half Portrush were looking to get more goals and James McCook was on hand to finish an excellent move up the left side and make it 3-0. Portrush maintained their control to the final whistle for what was a well deserved victory. Portrush now have the Final to look forward to on New Year’s day against Ballynahinch,