Top of the table clash lost at Newry
North Down travelled to Newry on Saturday knowing that only a victory would suffice if they were to achieve their dream and win the Senior 1 title however, their build up was hampered by injuries to key players and they travelled without six regulars.
Their lack of discipline saw three yellow and two green cards and this along with further injuries sustained on the day proved a step too far and Newry ran out deserved winners. North Down now have to pick themselves up and secure victories in their final two games in order to get a playoff against either Civil Service or Raphoe for the final place in the Premier League next season.
Newry completely dominated the first period pressing North Down high up the pitch and this tactic made life difficult for North Down to clear their lines. Good goalkeeping by Gareth McBride frustrated Newry but with 15 minutes of the half remaining he was eventually beaten when Taylor scored from a short corner. Somehow Newry failed to add to the scoreline and at half time North Down felt if they raised their game they could have a chance.
However Newry had other ideas scoring immediately after the restart and they added a third after 10 minutes from a corner variation. North Down then had their best spell and Andy Forrest and Simon Watt went close. With injuries to McKee, Black and Jordan Linter the North Down defence was in disarray and Newry added a fourth when the unfortunate Wilson deflected past McBride. Paul Ritchie moved into midfield and his close control began to set up opportunities for his forwards but on the day it was not to be and Newry ran out comfortable winners and deserved league champions.