Antrim Hockey Club Second XI fell to defeat at the hands of Mossley Thirds in their closely-contested fixture at the weekend.
Antrim captain Tommy Monahan had no choice but to reselect most of last week’s squad after the side produced one of the best performances in years.
This is one of the youngest sides the seconds have had and the young guns certainly proved their worth in an epic contest against a very skillful Portadown 2nd XI in the League Cup.
A few changes had meant that Matthew Whiteside was back in goal and the power house David Mailey was drafted in at the back.
Mailey has spent over a decade on the first XI and does the simple things effortlessly and has one of the hardest strikes in the league.
Last week the 2nd XI let a 3-1 and then 4-2 lead end in a 4-4 draw so the task this weekend was to keep possession and simply make the ball do the work.
Antrim arrived in good time and did an early warm-up before getting some stick work on Mossley’s water based surface. Right from the start Antrim’s marking was slack and their lack of passing allowed Mossley to attack at will.
Within ten minutes Antrim were two down and could easily have been four down. Antrim were without their own umpire and so Monahan and Kernaghan decided to debate nearly every decision which further upset their team’s tempo. I
n sharp contrast to last week the passing was non-existant. Attackers made it easy for an aging Mossley defence to isolate the player on the ball and dispossess the young attackers.
Mossley’s tactics of fouling the attackers over and over again meant that frees were awarded but the deliberate fouling simply meant the ball was brought back which boded well for the homsters. Before the half ended Mossley added two more.
The second half was no better with Antrim’s only highlight being a well struck short corner preventing this being a total white-wash.
Young Ethan Creighton and Stephen Olliver both had a decent game but the rest of the side were lack lustre. A bad day at the office which is best forgotten.
Plenty of passing drills this week and hopefully the 2nd XI will produce the goods this Friday night when they take on Instonians at Shaw’s Bridge.
Antrim Squad: M Whiteside, N McCullough, D Mailey, P Whiteside, T Monahan, S Kernaghan, C Wilson, L Kane, S Olliver, E Creighton, R McCrea, L Kane