O’NE 1918 Premier League
It was back to the business of the Ulster Premier League on Saturday for Annadale.
With two months of the season gone, this was only their second league match following Kirk Cup, Irish Hockey League and Irish Senior Cup matches.
The club welcomed to Lough Moss newly promoted Belfast Harlequins, captained by ex Annadale player Chris Lemon.
The game got off to a frenetic start, with Annadale dominating from the first whistle.
Harlequins’ reserve goalkeeper, Irish U16 International Gavin Adams, was in action as early as the second minute. He was sharp off his line to smother a William Edgar attempt.
He then saved well from Chris Campbell and David Nicholl. Even when John Edgar took the ball around him, defender John Metcalf was on hand to clear.
It was only a matter of time before Annadale scored and the opener came in the 13th minute from their first penalty corner when Neil Hamilton drove the ball under Adams and into the net.
Within minutes Annadale had doubled their lead. John Edgar drew Adams out of his net before slipping the ball to David Nicholl who slapped it home at the back post.
Annadale were coming in waves and Harlequins were lucky not to go further behind when Fraser Mills put two reverse stick shots narrowly wide. The visitors’ cause wasn’t helped when they had their captain Chris Lemon sin-binned for a rash tackle.
Despite this setback, they managed to manufacture a penalty corner right at the end of the half, but Luke McClelland fired his shot wide.
The second half started much the same as the first, with Annadale in the ascendancy. Mills fired another reverse shot wide, had his next effort saved by Adams and when he tried to lob the young keeper with his next approach, Adams just got his hand to it.
However, William Edgar was there to slam in the rebound in the 45th minute for a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Neil Hamilton and Peter Caruth missed further chances before, against the run of play, Harlequins pulled one back through a penalty corner.
This time McClelland was on target and found the back of the net giving his team a lifeline at 3-1.
Harlequins tried to build on the goal but were knocked back when John Metcalfe was sin-binned.
During his absence Neil Hamilton converted another penalty corner to put Annadale in the comfort zone of a 4-1 lead. The icing on the cake was a brace of goals by Peter Caruth in the final two minutes to put a reflection on the scoreline at 6-1 that matched Annadale’s dominance.
The young Annadale squad travel to Dublin this coming weekend to face YMCA, the team they knocked out in the first round of the Irish Cup a few weeks ago, which will add a little edge to the fixture.
This game is Annadale’s second in the All-Ireland League and the following week they will be in Dublin again to face Pembroke Wanderers.
Sadly this will be without Matthew Allister who suffered a broken arm in the Three Rock Rovers fixture two weeks ago.
O’NE 1918 Premier League
Annadale 6 - 1 Harlequins
(Neil Hamilton 2, Peter Caruth 2, William Edgar, David Nichol)
Instonians II 1 - 7 Annadale II
(Ian Hamilton 4, Richard Maybin 3)
Annadale III 2 - 1 Antrim II
(Stuart Cartmill, Tom Pinkerton)
Harlequins III 0 - 0 Annadale IV
Annadale V 4 - 3 Kilkeel III
(Neil Barr 2, Phil Crawford, Jordan Logan)
Irish Hockey League
Dublin YMCA v Annadale
Annadale II v Lisnagarvey II
Harlequins II v Annadale III
Annadale IV v Raphoe III
Antrim III v Annadale V