North Down entertained Queens on Saturday in Comber keen to avenge a 2-0 defeat earlier in the season and also to get back into the top four in the league.
Play in the first period was confined to midfield for long periods. North Down won a number of early corners which were cleared but at the fourth attempt David Shepherd put them in front shooting into the bottom corner of the net. At the other end Queens had a corner saved and when the rebound escaped Gareth McBride in goals, Keith Conway was on hand to make a fine clearance from the line.
The second half saw North Down play some of their best hockey of the season as they completely dominated Queens and McBride in goals was a spectator for long periods. After 5 minutes Tom Donnan picked up a loose ball in the circle and increased the lead with a strong flick shot. North Down got their third when prolific scorer Rowan Poots drove into the circle and saw a reverse shot flash across goal for Gareth Bailie to deflect into the net. The pressure continued as the Comber boys dominated possession and Poots got number four with a shot from the right of the circle. With 5 minutes remaining, Poots completed the scoring when he was first to react to a loose ball and flick home.
This was an excellent result considering that Queens had been on a good run of results. This Saturday’s trip to Raphoe will be the toughest test North Down have faced since Christmas and the outcome will determine who will challenge for second position in the league.
Report by Robin Mitchell.