Alan Patterson slammed home a superb hat-trick as Instonians cruised to a comfortable 7-0 win over South Antrim.
South Antrim, last season’s Senior One champions had been expected to put up more of a fight against Inst. But, in truth they never really tested Inst, who were in control of the game for long spells.
And Inst coach, Steven Redpath who was making his home debut as coach, was pleased with his side’s performance.
“We knew South Antrim would be hard to break down and in the first half they defended really well. But we just couldn’t put away the chances we were creating.
“Thankfully that changed in the second half, as we made our possession tell as we were able to convert the pressure into goals.”
With only six minutes on the clock, Patterson popped up at the far post to squeeze home the opener from Inst’s first penalty corner of the game.
However, that was it in terms of goals for the bulk of the first half as Inst were not getting any change out of a solid South Antrim defence.
And when they did, they found Ian Glass in superb form between the sticks, as he pulled off some brilliant saves.
But just before the interval, Inst at last got some reward for their pressure, this time James Corry pouncing on to a loose ball in the South circle to squirm it over the line.
South just couldn’t lift their game to the same level as the first and it was Inst who took a stranglehold on the game.
Even with so much possession, Inst still couldn’t find the net. And it wasn’t until the 55th minute when the South Antrim dam burst, after James Corry finished off a flowing Inst move.
Six minutes later, Chris Kirk single-handedly dissected the visitors defence to slip the ball to an unmarked Patterson who made it 4-0.
South simply had no answer, as they tried to relieve the pressure on an overworked defence. Inst could smell more goals and they came after Stuart McNiece carved his way into the circle to present the ball to Patterson for his hat-trick.
With three minutes remaining, Steven Kelso nicked a goal-bound shot from Stuart McNiece, but no-one could argue with his second, when Kelso punished a South Antrim defensive error to wrap up a very confident Inst performance.
Inst now travel to Civil Service for a crunch Pool game but they must be favourites to reach the semi finals.