North Down entertained Belfast Harlequins last Saturday at Comber Leisure Centre in a Premier League game.
Harlequins from the whistle showed much more determination and commitment than North Down and pinned the home side deep in their own half. They won a series of corners but these were dealt with well by the home defence. North Down clawed their way into the game and saw a David Shepherd penalty corner cleared off the line. With 15 minutes remaining in the half Harlequins took the lead from a variation from a corner with the final touch from McClelland bobbling into the net.
The second half was only minutes old when Harlequins increased their lead. The ball broke down the left and with the home defenders appealing for an infringement Oldwell raced through and scored giving Andy Coates no chance. Following this the floodgates opened and Harlequins seemed to score at will. Too many gaps appeared in the home defence and with players continually getting caught in possession Harlequins scored four further goals through Hutchinson, Lemon, Dobbin and McClelland again.
North Down played their best hockey in the last 10 minutes and finally put the Harlequins defence under pressure. The veteran keeper had to clear his lines on a number of occasions and eventually Josh Gilmore scored a consolation goal for the home side when he was in the right place to shoot home a rebound.
Coach McKeown will be looking for a much improved performance on Saturday when North Down entertain bottom of the table Raphoe.
PMB Man of the Match: Phil Templeton.
Report from Robin Mitchell.