John Matchett scored a superb hat-trick as Sullivan Upper signalled their intentions in this season’s McCullough Cup as they crushed Banbridge Academy 7-1.
The eagerly awaited clash between the two teams in Group 1 with maximum points saw Banbridge start quickly but good defending by Sullivan kept them out .
An early penalty corner from Banbridge was well saved by McCone. But slowly Sullivan started to find their way into the game and when they won their first penalty corner, Callum Robson flicked powerfully into the corner to give Sullivan the lead.
Sullivan were getting on top and after winning their second penalty corner, Robson once again scored. Further pressure was applied but no further goals were scored leaving the half time score at 2-0 to Sullivan.
Both sides knew that the first ten minutes of the second half would be crucial and the next goal could decide the outcome. Banbridge came out quickly and again won a penalty corner which once again was well saved by McCone.
Sullivan again weathered the early pressure and were now counter attacking with great precision. On one of these attacks, Callum Carson deflected a great ball from Robin Watts past the keeper to make it 3-0.
As Banbridge threw players forward they were caught on numerous counter attacks with first by John Matchett, then Paul McDonnell and then Matchett again scoring to make it 6-0.
Banbridge kept pushing forward and got their reward late on with a deflection. Almost immediately Sullivan attacked and won a penalty corner from which Matchett completed his hat trick and an impressive 7-1 victory to Sullivan.
Cup holders Wallace notched up an impressive 4-2 over Campbell College.
Please send short match reports to NLHOCKEY@HOTMAIL.CO.UK
McCullough Cup Results Group 1: Sullivan 7 v 1 Banbridge Acad; R.B.A.I. 1 v 1 Cookstown H.S Group 2: Regent 4 v 2 Campbell College