Ladies thirds go down at Harlequins

This week the ladies 3s travelled to play Belfast Harlequins 5ths in their second last game of the season. Having played them and beaten them 2-1 a couple of weeks ago North Down were fairly confident they could repeat this result again. North Down started the first half very strong and applied great pressure to the home teams defense. North Down had several chances to try and gain the first goal of the game. Belfast Harlequins proved to be extremely quick on the break and gave the North Down defense a lot of bother. Harlequins got the first goal of the game from a penalty corner which proved to be controversial. North Down tried to fight back with great work from the forward line. Harlequins broke away again and gained another penalty corner. This time the ball was stopped on the line by right back Kathryn Rogers foot resulting in a penalty stroke. Goalkeeper Linda Marshall tried her best to save it but failed to do so. North Down started to settle in and play their own game and put the skills learnt on Wednesday night to good use. Before half time North Down moved forward as a team and got their first goal from right wing Naomi Mitchell.

After a positive team talk North Down knew they could bring it back and take the lead. The girls settled into their own game again with great communication and passing between each other. Natalie Strain got the second goal for the visiting team after much hard work in the circle. North Down we’re determined to keep it level and they did so for the majority of the second half with excellent defense from the back four. Belfast Harlequins won several more penalty corners and another stroke was taken as sweeper Rebecca Nield stopped it on the line with her foot. This resulted in North Down being 3-2 down. With very few minutes remaining North Down fought extremely hard to try and get a draw. Centre back Judith Orr applied great pressure to the Harlequins defense with great balls into the circle. North Down didn’t win anything and in the last few minutes Harlequins broke through and got passed the North Down defense and got another goal after a one on one with the goalkeeper.

Player of the match – Emma Johnston

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