Ladies first XI hosted Banbridge at Comber leisure centre on Saturday afternoon with both sides still seeking their first win in the premier league this season.
Having often started slowly in games North Down were determined not to let this happen again and started with urgency exerting pressure on the opposition defence. This domination continued for the next 10 minutes but with no reward. The away team began to come into the game and broke away to win a series of penalty corners. However excellence defence from the ND corner team particularly Hannah Lewis, kept the score line at 0-0. North Down dropped their heads for the remainder of the first half and were lucky not to concede when a Banbridge shot ricocheted off one post across the goal line onto the other. Good work from Kathryn Sinclair on her debut and fine saves from Trish Neill kept the game goalless at half time.
The visitors took the lead five minutes into to second half after a lapse of concentration and some poor marking allowed a Banbridge attacker to pounce on a ball into the circle and slot home. North Down responded swiftly though when a through ball from Heather Brittain found Caitlyn Taylor who had made an excellent run out to the left. Taylor drove the ball into the circle for Rachel Lucas to place it neatly in the back of the net making the score line 1-1. The game continued with end to end hockey – both teams were pushing for the winner but also cautious not to concede. North Down showed their capabilities playing some nice flowing phases of hockey. Bethan Brittain came closest to score after a well worked short corner only for her effort to be saved by banbridge keeper. The game ended as a 1-1 draw. Although happy to get a point on the board, North Down will see this as a game they were more than capable of winning.
Ladies 1st XI face Portadown @ Edenvilla on Friday night in their next premier league match.
PMB Player of the Match – Hannah Lewis