North Down 6 – 5 Raphoe
North Down welcomed Raphoe to Comber on Saturday in the first Premier League game of the long awaited return to competitive hockey.
The hosts took the lead in the first quarter with Philip Templeton scoring a drag flick. North Down were dominating possession however Raphoe equalised against the run of play.
North Down were exciting going forward with Ross Blair getting plenty of the ball, however it was Raphoe who scored again to take a 2-1 lead. North Down didn’t lie down and equalised with a Tom Donnan deflection, shortly followed by a trademark Gareth Bailie rebound to go into half time 3-2 ahead.
It was Josh Gilmore’s turn next scoring with a deflection however Raphoe continued to battle with an aerial ball out from the back causing the North Down defence problems. Two goals in quick succession from the away side levelled the match at 4-4 at the end of the third quarter.
Raphoe had momentum and tucked away a short corner early in the final quarter to take the lead but North Down were adamant that the points were staying in Comber, with another well executed Philip Templeton drag flick and a Gareth Bailie winner leaving the final score at 6-5 to the home team.
This was a thrilling opening game for the supporters who were there to watch on the day.
Burch Autos Man of the match: Ross Blair
Bangor 3rds 2 – 5 North Down 4ths
North Down fourths returned to hockey away to Bangor thirds with a great result 5-2 win.
Ralph Murray bagged the first hat trick of the year, with a well finished short corner, then a spin and a push in the D that the keeper stepped over thinking he was outside, he wasn’t by about 6ft, and his third the pick of the bunch great touch round the keeper then did his best to miss it but it squeezed inside the post. Jack Myles chipped in with the 4th and Sam Pyper rounded it off with a well taken 5th. A good win to start the season off!! See you all down at training on Monday and Wednesday nights 8.30-10pm.
Burch Autos Man of the Match: Ralph Murray