It was another wet and soggy afternoon for the Super Cup NI as Otago of New Zealand took on Hibernian of Scotland at the Riada Stadium in Ballymoney.
It was the Kiwi side that got us off and running but it was Hibs who settled straight into a passing game with the busy midfield play of Alex Kelly, Fraser Murray and callum Donaldson impressing. They kept the ball very well and were always lookingseeking out the runs of right back Callum Hall.
With Hibs having all the possession, they were still only being restricted to long range efforts by a resolute Otago defence. Hibs were probably guilty of over playing it a little and this almost cost them, as Max Johnston stole the ball in midfield, raced towards goal, only to be stopped by super defending from Hibs centre back Ryan Porteous.
Overall Porteous had a very impressive game, and it was he opened the scoring, on the half hour, with a great header after a well taken Murray corner, although Otago will be disappointed with their defending. A few minutes later saw the only caution of the game as Otago’s John Woodall picked up a yellow.
Otago would have hoped to get in at half time only 1 behind but a second goal for Hibs, right on the stroke of half time increased their deficit. It came about as a result of some neat play between Murray and Jamie Gullan, a move which was finished sweetly by Gullan, who slotted a fine shot past the keeper.
The second half began with a change for Hibs as Bradley White was replaced by Dean Cornelius. However, this change did not upset the Hibs momentum as they contined to dominate. Cornelius should have scored with his first touch, after great work by Callum Donaldson who beat 3 Otago players then rolled the ball into the path of Cornelius, who saw his effort bounce off the woordwork.
Hibs did, however, get their 3rd soon after and while Cornelius did not score he was instrumental in the play, after he produced a lovely lay off from a Gallantes cross, to push the ball into the oncoming Murray who slotted it home. Murray doubled up within minutes with Cornelius again involved, this time providing the cross which Murray converted.
Hibs went on to see the game out comfortably, with Otago having very few chances. Having played 2 games, Hibs have scored 7 without reply and will be hoping to continue this form against Strikers tomorrow, in Rugby Avenue, Coleraine (5pm).