The ladies fifths were pressed into university action twice in four days as Ulster Hockey attempts to catch up on a fixture backlog. In midweek they travelled to the Dub to play Queens fifths followed by a Saturday trip to Jordanstown to meet Ulster Elks fourths. Both games finished with a single goal scoreline.
Against Queens the game started at a high pace with a youthful students’ side using their speed well. North Down held firm with Maxine Taylor and Anna Dunlop making some great tackles in defence. The first half saw a lot of pressure from the university side but the game remained scoreless at half time. The second half started with more pressure from Queens but it wasn’t long until North Down began to look dangerous with Julie Fisher and Laura Murray working tirelessly in midfield. This soon this paid dividends when Fisher played a lovely ball to Murray who picked it up made her way past the defender towards the circle and crossed the ball to Leona Clifford, who finished beautifully. This was the only goal of the game and the Comber girls held out to the end with a strong finish.
At Jordanstown on Saturday, and buoyed from their win at Queens, North Down started strongly and set about their youthful opponents. There was some lovely attacking play from Camy Chandler and Leona Clifford but the Elks are never a team to underestimate however and were extremely quick on the break. Goalkeeper Krista Blanchflower was challenged on a number of occasions, one of them resulting in a scrappy goal for the Elks. The second half started strongly for North Down and the pressure they were putting on saw them win two penalty corners but unfortunately no goals resulted. The Elks picked up their game putting the visitors’ defence under some pressure but solid work from the Brittain duo ensured no more goals were conceded.
PMB Players of the Match
Queens: Claire Shields
Ulster Elks: Bethan Brittain and Eve Porter