North Down thirds hosted Portadown seconds at Comber last Saturday and from the off it was all North Down moving the ball quickly and keeping possession.
It wasn’t long before the deadlock was broken. Tom Donnan collected the ball inside his own half and side stepping player after player found himself approaching the circle and smashing it past the keeper. Five minutes later a Stephen Magee aerial ball put Greg Bell through only for him to be wiped out by the keeper. Sam Pyper made it 2-0 from the penalty spot.
Into the second quarter and the home defence stood strong with young Rhys Barratt not giving his Portadown counterpart a sniff. He was cool calm and collected and didn’t put a foot wrong. Back at the other end Andy Walls found Pyper in the circle who squared in front of goal for Andrew Welsh to finish well. Portadown got back into it with a well worked short corner and it was 3-1 at the break.
The thirds, in a good run of form in a tough league, came out eager to extend their lead and soon did just that with a great run and reverse finish from Daniel McNulty. The visitors got back into it again to make it 4-2 with the thirds having their usual 10 minute spell of complacency. They soon upped their game in the final quarter and got back to dominating possession. As Portadown pushed high up the pitch, North Down created more chances on the counter. When Pyper found Magee in front of goal, the veteran smashed a shot in. The keeper made a fine save but it wasn’t enough and the ball fell to Welsh who doubled his tally and rounded off a great 5-2 victory.
Burch Autos Man of the Match was Rhys Barrett