North Down ladies met Victorians at Comber Leisure Centre last Saturday looking for three points to get their league campaign back on track. Having already beaten the visitors in an early season cup game expectations were high.
North Down got off to the perfect start when Shannen White won a corner within the first five minutes. Bex Mitchell’s shot was saved by the keeper but Bethan Brittain was on hand at the left post to put in the rebound. The home team kept up their momentum and pushed on to further their lead. Good work from the forwards kept the Victorians’ defence busy and it wasn’t long before North Down broke through again. A forward ball, missed outside the circle by the Victorians keeper, was chased down by Natasha Adamson who did well to score from a tight angle. With Bethan Brittain and Ali Millar solid in the centre of defence, the North Down goal was seldom challenged in the first half and at half time it was 2-0 in favour of North Down.
North Down came out strongly again in the second half knowing that they couldn’t be complacent. Selina Lewis, at left midfield, did a good job of keeping Victorians’ only real, threatening player quiet and playing more defensively, the ladies worked hard to defend their circle and then played counter attacking hockey when they regained possession. North Down hit their third goal when skipper Mitchell smashed in an unstoppable strike from a short corner. For the remaining twenty minutes North Down were resilient in defence as Victorians piled on the pressure. Chrissie McKee in nets for the home team pulled off a superb series of saves, notably one off her helmet from which she got up again a dived for another to ensure the ball stayed out of her goal. North Down played out the game to finish three goals clear and with a welcome three points.
Player of the match goes to Chrissie McKee for her show stopping saves but the whole team should be commended for their excellent performance.