North Down entertained Raphoe on Saturday knowing that only a win would suffice if they were to progress in the Linden Cup. They came within three minutes of securing a semi-final spot but a short corner strike saw Raphoe draw level and eliminate the Comber team from the competition.
North Down set up as a much more attacking force than in the previous week and pushed Raphoe all the way only to be denied at the finish. Raphoe won early corners but McBride and his defence held firm. Midway through the half Rowan Poots expertly converted North Down’s first corner to put the home side ahead. Play was swinging from end to end and Raphoe equalised before halftime when they scored from a short corner. Gareth McBride saved well from Leckey but the ball broke kindly to Waller who scored from the top of the circle.
The second half followed a similar pattern with play swinging from end to end but neither side were able to create clear chances. North Down eventually got the break through when Donnan broke into the circle and scored from close in. North Down looked very comfortable at this stage but a moment of madness with 3 minutes remaining gave a corner to Raphoe which Leckey smashed into the back of the net for a rather fortunate share of the spoils.
A disappointing end to the game but North Down can take heart from a much improved performance and look forward to the league programme which begins this Saturday with a visit to Portadown.