Following a disappointing display against North Down 4ths, skipper Sam Pyper was looking for a reaction from his players to keep the pressure on the promotion places to Junior 2 in their away game to Banbridge 4ths last Saturday.
With this fixture always a tight affair, the first 20 minutes was just that but with the thirds just edging possession. An impact substitution introduced John Clarke to the mix and his clever runs immediately caused problems for the home side. A through ball found Clarke close to the touchline and a neat cutback found Mark Shannon who got the keeper to commit before rounding him to get North Down one up. A quick second was to come with Pyper spotting Clarke’s run behind the bewildered Banbridge defence who thought all was safe. Clarke finished well with a one on one with the Bann keeper. At the break North Down had a good 2-0 lead but knew that Ban would have still their spell in the match.
Immediately after the break the hosts played four in midfield and this disrupted ND’s game. Bann pressed high and although Chris McSherry made a number of instinctive saves they soon got the better of him and the visitor’s defence with a well struck shot. Pushing for the equaliser, Bann left their defence subject to counter attack and North Down should have made more of it on the break. It was soon all square and with the momentum with the home team, they looked the better bet for the winner. That is if you discounted the vision of Paul Revill. A minute after the restart Revill launched an aerial ball from the half way line over the Bann defence and into the danger area only for Mark Shannon to watch the bounce and volley waist high past the keeper to make it 3-2. The thirds resisted all the pressure to the end, man marking and by the particular efforts of Andy Walls who throughout was as solid as a……..well, a wall.