League leaders North Down thirds hosted second placed and local rivals Civil Service seconds at Comber last Saturday. With 6 points between them, a win for the Comber men would see a significant gap at the top of Junior Three developing and a promotion spot getting nearer.
The first half was a balanced affair with perhaps Service edging it with more opportunities on goal the majority of these coming from short corners won by their talisman striker up front and his incredible stick skills. The home defence however stood strong with Walls out fast, Beaney clearing off the line and a special mention to Bryn Walker and Ally Hunter who are securing their places with their constant improvement. Going forward North Down could not take their chances and at half time it was goalless.
Service started the second half the stronger but on 46 minutes with a quick free North Down hit them on the break. Andy Proctor was put through on goal and unselfishly slipped the ball square of the advancing keeper for Scottie Moore to control and score into the empty goal. Twelve minutes later it was all square again when a long ball found the visitors’ striker on the baseline where he skilfully beat the last defender and finished from close range. At this stage the game could have gone either way however a point wasn’t going to be enough for Service and they pushed for the winner leaving them subject to counter attacks. The home side got back ahead with five minutes to go through a Josh Gilmore trademark reverse shot and two minutes later Moore’s second from close range settled the game. The 3-1 scoreline didn’t reflect how close this encounter was but on this occasion North Down thirds just edged it.
The opposition this Saturday is Mossley thirds away and North Down will look to maintain their unbeaten run knowing that 2 wins from the 5 games remaining will guarantee at least a shared top spot and certainly promotion to Junior 2.
Report by Sam Pyper.