Portrush Hockey Club’s incredible season got even better on Saturday as they were crowned Senior League Division Two champions.
The boys from the Port knew they only needed a point from the game against Parkview to secure the title, but true to form this season they clinched it in style running out 7-2 winners at the Quay Road.
Parkview started the match with the push back but within two minutes were a goal behind when Scott Horner set up James McCook to scoop the ball home.
Having got a goal so early Portrush looked in the mood to score and after eight minutes gone John Dillon had a magnificent effort saved by the young goalkeeper.
Minutes later John had another strike saved but he eventually got his goal with an excellent strike from the edge of the area.
After this goal Parkview went on the attack and would have had a goal had goalkeeper Gordi McAllister not kept them out.
Portrush went on the counter attack and with an excellent exchange from Neil McMaster and John Dillon, John provided the assist for Leon to stay cool and smash the ball into the back of the net to finish off a beautiful move. Parkview pulled a goal back from a short corner that agonisingly screwed over Gordi into the net.
But just minutes from the half time whistle John scored a fantastic goal with a bullet finish from the edge of the circle. After the break John Dillon completed his hat-trick when once again Neil McMaster was influential for John to slot the ball past the keeper.
Parkview grabbed a consolation after sloppy defending from Portrush to make it 5-2. Parkview were awarded a penalty flick soon after, but the taker skied his effort over the bar.
Portrush were in no mood to stop scoring and again John Dillon was involved in the goal by providing Callum McKeeman with the ball to finish expertly.
In the closing stages John Dillon yet again provided the assist for James McCook to finish the scoring at 7-2. With such a fantastic scoreline to clinch the title, the players were ecstatic after the match with the celebrations continuing to the Central Bar Ballycastle.
Yet again this week Portrush were excellent up the right side with Ryan Smith and particularly Callum McKeeman who played a fantastic match. Leon Smith and Aaron Kerr worked all day in midfield and Scott Horner on the left put in an excellent performance on his first game back with the 1stXI.
The front two of John Dillon and James McCook had excellent movement all day and had five goals between them and John scored or set up six of the seven goals and was deservedly awarded the Man of the match.
Player/Coach David Price set the team up well again and did show the reason why he is more a coach and not a player when he tried to score only for the ball to screw wide of the goal.
It was nice to see Ricky McKinnon back playing again and he showed he has some playing years left in him. Everyone at Portrush including the members of the club behind the scenes have worked tirelessly for around four years to help the club grow again and with a domestic double secured now for the first XI and an Irish Final to look forward to, as well as the second XI in the Minor Cup Final and second in Junior League 5 the hard work is now paying off as the club is making history with such success this year.
“I have been with this club now for five years since the age of 16 and the feeling around the club is one I have never felt before, it oozes success and want to win,” club spokesperson Ryan Smith told Times Sport.
“The young players push the experienced and the experienced help mature the youth.
“The whole club is a tight knit family and we all work for each other, now we will work even harder to maintain this success.”