The ladies first XI made the journey to Ballymena last Friday night for one of their tougher fixtures of the season. North Down were put on the back foot immediately after conceding in the first few minutes after some slack marking. Soon after, they went two down when Ballymena broke away and scored again despite Rachel Mornin’s initial save off the line.
North Down had it all to do and a hard task on their hands after just ten minutes. They struggled to dictate the game and were losing out on 50/50 balls all over the pitch as well as making simple errors and running into flat sticks. The last ten minutes of the first half saw a slight improvement in the travelling team and they had a number of chances after crosses into the circle from the right but these all came to nothing.
With the start of the second half North Down looked like an entirely different team. Their desire to win the ball was back and they began to play some better hockey with the ball zipping round the back and up the line on both sides of the pitch. However, this half was clouded with a number, of what can only be described as, completely baffling umpiring decisions. North Down went down to ten players but continued to push forward though could not get the ball past the Ballymena keeper. Some nice through balls from Selina Lewis found Tasha Adamson and Barbara Moles in front of goal with the ball but the opposition goalie did her job efficiently. It appeared the odds were against then when North Down again went a player down after Laura Clarke received a yellow card. Despite North Downs best efforts in the last ten minutes where their work rate couldn’t be faulted, the game finished 2-0 to Ballymena.