Mens 1st xi Progress in Irish Trophy

North Down Progress in Irish Trophy
North Down entertained Armagh in the first round of the Irish Trophy on Saturday at the Leisure Centre.The pitch was in excellent condition despite the severe frost all week and both sides set about their business with some vigour.
Armagh took a surprise lead from a short corner when stand in skipper Mark Linter deflected the ball into the net.North Down with six changes from the team that was selected took time to settle.Shepperd saw 2 efforts from short corners well saved by the visitors keeper.Continuous pressure had to tell and it was no surprise when Gilmore equalised.He weaved his way into the circle and unleashed a reverse shot into the goal.North Down took the lead before half time when Gilmore scored from close range.
North Down were dominating possession but struggled to breach the Armagh defence well marshalled by the Keeper.With so many players missing the home side corner routine was not as sharp as usual and several chances went abegging.A period of Armagh pressure gave some cause for concern and Coates had to clear his lines on a number of occasions .Sheppard eventually eased the pressure when he score from mid circle with a reverse shot into an empty goal.Sheppard scored number four with a similar effort after a shot from a corner had been saved.The final goal came with minutes remaining and it was a peach.The ball was played into Jamie Orr who had found space in the circle and he was very unselfish and passed to Gilmore who had the simple task of shooting into an empty net to complete his hattrick.
In the end the 5-1 scoreline properly reflected the home sides superiority.It was encouraging to see so many of our younger players get an opportunity to get pitch time and they all performed with distinction
A much more competitive game can be expected in the next round
PMB player of the matchJosh Gilmore

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