Raphoe travelled away to Shaw’s Bridge on Saturday to play a strong Instonians side who currently sit in fourth place in the Premier League, only five points behind leaders, Lisnagarvey.
Instonaians, who where fielding three past Raphoe players, had the first attack on goal, William Robinson coming close with a reverse stick shot but was well dealt with by Raphoe keeper Jonny Rankin.
Raphoe then had a couple of attacks of their own, Gavin Lecky and Ian McGonigle had fine efforts saved by the Instonians keeper.
On 15 minutes though Instonians did find the breakthrough after a miss hit pass by Alan Patterson bouncing its way through the Raphoe defence to find Ross Anderson, who tapped in at the back post.
Raphoe felt hard done by after a decent start, but it was to get worse moments later when a poor umpiring decision led to Instonians second. Evan Lyttle having been adjudged not to be the required five yards from a direct free, led to instonians being given a penalty corner. The corner was dispatched by William Robinson for his first of the game to make it 2-0.
Instonians took a quick free from this and tried to catch Raphoe on the counter attack. James Corry and Stuart McNiece combining to win a penalty corner at the other end. Again Instonanians fired a drag flick past Rankin, Robinson again the scorer, his second and Instonanians’ third.
Raphoe found themselves pushed back into their own half for much of the second half but good passing and control from Lee Stewart, Willie Kilpatrick and Simon Goudie enabled Raphoe to get the ball as far up the pitch as possible. Luke Witherow did manage to win a penalty corner for Raphoe but it was easily saved and pushed away by the Instonians keeper.
It wasn’t long though before Raphoe found themselves a fourth goal behind, great attack from Instonians who passed their way through Raphoe’s midfield and defence playing the ball into Ross Anderson who spun and flicked the ball passed the onrushing keeper.
Raphoe held out for most of the second half, with a decent defensive display but five minutes from time Stuart McNiece made it five with an excellent short corner routine and then right on the final whistle, Alan Meehan and Rodney Bates bravely blocked a shot on the line and amongst the scramble Alan Meehan prevented the ball from going in, it unluckily striking his shoulder.
A penalty stroke was awarded and William Robinson completed his hatrick, converting the ball past the impressive Rankin who nearly managed to stop it. It finished 6-0 to the home team. It gets no easier for Raphoe, who play 2014 Kirk Cup winners, Annadale next Saturday.
Raphoe are still in the one and only play-off spot to stay in the Premier League and with only six games remaining they are desperate to pick up a few points.
Raphoe would also like to give their congratulations to past Raphoe player and current Instonians captain, James Corry, who won his first Irish cap last week in Spain for the Ireland senior team and we wish him continued success with club and country.