North Down ladies fourths travelled to play Annadale seconds at Lagan College last Saturday to begin the second half of the league fixtures.
The Annadale side started the stronger team and within a short time had scored and for the first time this season North Down were behind in a game. Eventually the visitors settled and started playing good passing hockey and winning penalty corners. Shortly before half time, North Down got their equaliser from one of these corners. Joanne Irwin stopped the ball on the edge of the circle and hammered goalwards. Although the keeper did reach the ball, the force of the shot carried the ball into the net.
The second half produced great end to end hockey. Both teams had a mixture of experience and youth and tested each others’ defence. The pace and standard of passing was superb from both teams and provided a very tight second half. With less than five minutes remaining on the clock, and a draw looking certain, an inch perfect reverse pass from the newly returned Pamela Johnston at the half way line found Julie Fisher. She then dodged some defenders, slotted the ball squarely to Lynsey Stevenson who had made ground and she neatly placed the ball past the keeper into the net. The home side didn’t give up and fought back for an equaliser and won a penalty corner with only two minutes left on the clock. This was perfectly defended and the ball cleared to Stevenson. She used her pace and drove up the right wing, beating the Annadale defence and squared the ball to Fisher in the circle who made no mistake and placed the ball in the net. The final whistle blew a minute later leaving the score at 3-1 to North Down. This was a great squad performance from the fourths which produced some excellent passing hockey and consolidated their position at the top of the league.
Player of the Match: Emma Gowdy