On Saturday North Down ladies seconds made the journey over to last season’s relegation team Dungannon seconds expecting a tough encounter, which is exactly what they got.
Dungannon started strongly against an unsettled North Down side who were trying to come to grips with the bouncy pitch. Dungannon took full advantage of this and hit an early goal against the Comber girls who had difficulty adapting to the conditions. This proved a wake up call and North Down started to get into the game with lots of good calling and team work up and down the pitch. Sweeper Rebecca Walker had a strong game in defence with good switches of play with the help of her defensive team of Karen Moore, Rebecca Brown and Karen Jackson. Their hard work finally paid off when a well taken strike from Jenna Hoey resulted in a great save from the Dungannon keeper however Julie Fisher was on hand for the rebound and equalised with a reverse shot just before the half time whistle.
North Down started the second half strongly with Marion Miller working tirelessly in the centre with help from the two wingers Ashleigh McLaughlin and Judith Orr who, in a new position, worked unbelievably hard and well. With good attacking play and Dungannon struggling to get hit outs through the Comber girls it all looked positive and was only a matter of time before the visitors scored again. However it was not to be and with a quick counterattack the seconds were on the back foot and somehow it ended in a 3 on 1 with the North Down keeper Linda Marshall who did well to only concede a penalty corner. A strong Dungannon strike looked set for goal however Linda again pulled out a good save and kept North Down in the game. This however proved only to be for a short period of time as a well worked long corner routine helped put Dungannon 2-1 ahead.
This really fired up the Comber ladies and the fight for points began. North Down then had a run of penalty corners which eventually led to Julie Fisher firing home the equaliser. The seconds pushed forward looking for the winner pressurising the Dungannon defence and a good strike for the bottom left corner from skipper Laura Campbell looked set for the winner but once again a strong save from the keeper denied the Comber girls the winner. Full time finally came, although North Down ladies were glad of the point after a tough fought match they know it easily could have been three points but hope to take the fighting spirit into the next match.
Player of the match was shared between Rebecca Walker for her great defensive work and Julie Fisher who worked tirelessly in midfield and scored both goals.
By Laura Campbell