North Down ladies made the long journey to Raphoe on Saturday to play top of the table Raphoe.
North Down edged the early play with good attacks from Selina Lewis, Lauren Brown and Amy Kimber down the left hand side causing problems for the Raphoe defence. From virtually their first attack a hopeful ball into the circle was miscontrolled by a Raphoe forward but the deflection completely wrong footed the North Down team and cruelly went into the net.
The Raphoe press was causing North Down problems and pressure resulted in a short corner switch that was deflected onto a North Down foot on the line resulting in a stroke that was converted despite a good effort from Helena Press.
North Down were still causing problems when they transferred the ball from side to side quickly and were unlucky when Raphoe scored their third goal just before half time when a quick break was well finished.
Raphoe started the second half determined to kill the game off and they did this within ten minutes when they scored two goals from short corners, one another cruel deflection. The rest of the game was even with North Down attempting to move the ball about and Raphoe adopting a physical approach to break play down at every opportunity, all leniently dealt with by the umpires. Raphoe scored their best goal of the game with ten minutes left as the game petered out.
This was a difficult game for North Down against a physically strong Raphoe side who played to their strengths throughout. 6-0 was a harsh scoreline and did not reflect the pattern of the game but 6-0 it was and lessons will have to have been learnt about playing against this style of hockey.
PMB Player of the Match: Amy Kimber