Portrush looked to make it three wins out of three when Armagh came to Ballycastle on Saturday.
Portrush were in high spirits having beaten Armagh previously in the cup 8-0 and set out at the start to keep the ball and settle into the game. After only a couple of minutes Portrush were awarded a short corner and Neil McMaster was on hand at the post to strike past the goalkeeper.
This early goal helped calm the nerves and on the 20 minute mark Callum McKeeman scored with some ease.
Ten minutes later the Ports had another goal to celebrate when Graeme Christie, who is having a fantastic season, came off the bench to score a brilliant goal that any experienced player would be proud of. Just before the end of the first half, after brilliant retention of the ball, Leon Smith played an excellently disguised ball for Aaron Kerr who finished well to make it 4-0.
After the break, Portrush were again on top and another early goal from the start finished any hopes the visitors had of getting a result as Andy Christie raced through on goal one-on-one with the goalkeeper and had the composure and maturity to calmly drag back the ball and finish in the bottom corner.
Portrush weren’t finished yet and another attack up the right side resulted in a short corner, this time Aaron Kerr got his second of the match.
Captain Kerr grabbed his hat-trick minutes later as he buried the ball in the back of the net making it 7-0. Callum McKeeman grabbed his second of the match before Kerr wrapped things up with his fourth and Portrush’s ninth.
Portrush played some excellent hockey and with more fantastic performances from the younger players like Phillip Linton and Graeme Christie the pressure is on for starting spots.
Though the player of the day was no doubt captain Aaron Kerr, who had led from the front and his example for the players shone through as everyone had a really good game.
The club would like to thank coach David Price and also the Central Bar Ballycastle who every week provide brilliant hospitality after the match and delicious food also.
Portrush: G. McAllister(GK), R.Smith, G.Kerr, P.Linton, N.McMaster, L.Smith, B.Smith, A.Christie, Callum McKeeman, A.Kerr(C), J.Dillon, G.Christie, R.McNabb