North Down made the trip to Queens playing fields to play Victorians in a league match with the object of coming away with 3 valuable points. North Down were without captain Bex Mitchell-Cram and Ulster U18 player Rebecca Mercer, but were buoyed by having new signing Abbie Trimble available for the first time having made the move from Saintfield just before Christmas. Coach David Frazer resisted the temptation to bring in a few experienced players and instead put his faith in the youth of the team who have played all season, and they didn’t let him down. With a change of tactic and style North Down produced 70 minutes of the best hockey they have played in a few seasons.
From the first whistle North Down stuck to the game plan and executed it perfectly limiting Victorians to one chance the whole match, expertly saved by Chrissi McKee, an asset to the team. Dominating the game from the start the visitors gave a smooth performance and played as a team, supporting each other in new playing positions.
Early in play the young forwards worked together in attack. Barbara Moles, Shannen White, Tasha Adamson and Rachel Lucas played with a fast pace and maturity which rewarded the team with the first goal from Rachel Lucas into an undefended net and which was greeted with a large cheer from the sideline. North Down’s domination of the game continued resulting in a short corner against Victorians which again gave results. A bouncing push out from Rachel Hutchinson created a broken down penalty corner which was recovered to result in a second goal from Bethan Britain from the top of the circle. The half time whistle saw a confident North Down heading into the net to praise from the coach and discussions on how to finish with a win.
The second half saw North Down continue with the lovely play which seemed to come so natural to them. Again, Victorians had little possession and play in the game and the Comber girls stayed confident, strong and used the panicked play of the other team to their advantage. Lauren Brown scored early in the second period, her first goal for the senior team after a great team passing play and into an open net after pressure on the keeper. There were plenty of opportunities for more goals but frustratingly these went awry mainly due to the excellent form of the home keeper. The usual great play from the defenders made for a secure back line with Rachel Mornin exceptional in a new position of centre back. However, this was a great all round team performance as North Down came away with a 3-0 win against the rival Victorians team and the 3 points they aimed for and deserved.
Player of the Match: Tasha Adamson