The sixths travelled to Omagh on Saturday for a Junior Six league game with the home team seeking revenge for their defeat earlier in the season in Comber.
It was a much changed North Down eleven which took to the field including two veterans who had not played in a number of seasons, one of whom had to umpie AND play. They were under pressure right from the start. Gareth McBride was the stand in goalkeeper and luckily he was in excellent form as he was left exposed time after time to Omagh breakaways. Omagh went into a two goal lead after 15 minutes and added a third, this time against the run of play, 5 minutes later. When Omagh were awarded a penalty stroke on the half hour mark it looked as if they might run away with the game but a superb diving save from McBride kept the visitors in it, just.
Into the second half and the North Down team altered their formation which paid off as they spent most of the half encamped in Omagh teritory. Great link up play from Chris Drysdale, Nathan Grimshaw, Tom Green and Mark Vincent had the ball moving smartly about the pitch and a number of penalty corners went the sixths’ way but the target remained elusive. Against the run of play Omagh added a fourth goal from a deflection and late on a fifth. In between, they also somehow managed to contrive to miss two open goals with McBride stranded and calling helplessly for his missing defence.
Although the 5-0 scoreline shows a distinct gap between the two teams, the makeshift North Down team did enough to show that there is clear potential for the younger members of the team moving forward. They look forward to entertaining Down 2nds this Saturday at Ards Leisure Centre at the 1.00 pm slot.