In Monday’s Premier Section, County Antrim produced a thoroughly accomplished performance to see off Strikers FC, Jack McCourt giving the local side a half time lead before a second half brace from Thomas Roscoe added some gloss to the scoreline.
The American visitors started the brighter of the two teams and tested Antrim goalkeeper Jack Ferguson with a powerful free kick, but it came to nothing. The early exchanges produced little in the way of clear cut goal mouth action and it took until the half hour mark before the first real threat on goal materialised. Strikers found themselves clear on goal after some neat build up play only for a superb goalmouth clearance from Tiarnan McCauley. Right on the stroke of half time, County Antrim took the lead in what was their first real opportunity of the game. Jack McCourt found himself in space wide on the left before confidently striding forward and unleashing a well drilled finish into the far corner, beyond the reach of the outstretched Strikers goalkeeper, Daniel Ziv.
The timing of the opening goal couldn’t have proved any better for the County side as they re-emerged for the second half with renewed vigour. Substitute Eamon Fyfe found the target with a long range free kick but it lacked the panache to beat Ziv from such a distance.The second goal duly arrived after a sustained spell of pressure and what a goal it was. Thomas Roscoe skillyfully out manoeuvred the defence with a great display of trickery before coolly slotting home to double his side’s lead. Cameron Kaemerle responded with a wild effort over the bar for the Strikers, before Jack McAllister also fired wide for County Antrim.
Thomas Roscoe was on target once more in the last minute of normal time to wrap up a convincing 3-0 win for County Antrim, the man of the match produced a neat finish from Joe Tully’s cross to get the local side off to the perfect start in this year’s competition. Next up for County Antrim is a derby with County Tyrone in Broughshane tomorrow at 5pm whilst Strikers travel to Castlerock to take on Higashi Fukuoka at the same time.
Match Report by Jordan Miller.