North Down travelled to Lisburn on Saturday to play league leaders South Antrim and after poor recent results were determined to up their game and show that they still would be a force in this campaign.
The game started at a fast pace and it was North Down who had the early chances. Quick interpassing between the midfielders saw first Bailie and then Donnan bring the best out of the home keeper as he was quick to react to deflections. Almost against the run of play South Antrim opened the scoring after 15 minutes when North Down old boy Simon Watt found himself in space 5 yards out and he does not miss from that distance. Play swung from end to end but it was the Lisburn team who looked the sharper and they increased their lead 10 minutes before halftime when a corner was not cleared and the ball was flicked home from mid circle.
The second period was more evenly balanced as North Down pushed hard for that all important goal but South Antrim looked dangerous on the break. Gareth McBride made a great tackle at the edge of his circle and then Watt turned superbly at the top of the circle but shot wide. Mark Linter recovered to make a great goal line clearance with McBride beaten. At the other end the home defence was solid and the North Down attempts on goal were restricted to corners. From one of these the ball was deflected onto a foot on the line but umpire Ken Glass did not award a penalty stroke despite consultation with his colleague.
All in all this was a good game which South Antrim deserved to win as they were more clinical in the circle but it was a much improved performance from the visitors who can now look forward to the visit of Antrim this Saturday with renewed confidence.