Mens fourths score 5 in 9 goal thriller!

North Down fourths travelled to take on South Antrim fourths on Saturday for a bottom of the table decider. With a strong starting lineup, and even two substitutes this week, they started well creating chances but, failing to score, found themselves 2-0 down at the end of the first quarter.

 

Things got worse as the second quarter was only minutes old when the home team went further ahead at 3-0.  North Down kept their cool and their shape and soon got a goal back to make it 3-1, Jack Myles with a nice finish from the edge of the circle. With the heads up and good work rate from all they quickly got a second with Sam Pyper finishing well to make it 3-2 at half time and back in the game.

 

North Down immediately on the restart made it difficult for themselves by letting South Antrim go two goals in front again at 4-2. But the game was far from finished getting it back to 4-3 with a great ball from wide from Jonny Proctor to a sliding Mark Shannon flinging himself at the ball for a great finish. Now with their heads up North Down were creating chances but with South Antrim still very dangerous on the break.  Great defensive play from Ben Long and Matthew Bruce helped by Peter Gray in nets kept the visitors in the game at the end of the third quarter.

 

Into the final quarter and good play from Scott Graham and Jack Myles put Chris Drysdale through only to be taken out by the keeper.  Shannon equalised from the penalty spot. There were no thoughts of settling for the draw as North Down kept attacking and pushing for the winner. With the midfield starting to win the ball higher up and putting the home team under pressure, Mark Shannon picked up the ball and beat the keeper with the defender stopping the ball on the line with his foot.  Again, Shannon stepped up to the penalty spot and scored to put North Down ahead for the first time in the game at 4-5 with three minutes to go. South Antrim went for it but a strong defensive team performance kept them out and the fourths got a great result to finish the league season.

 

We now await Ulster Hockey’s deliberations on Cup and League Cup competitions.

 

Burch Autos Man of the Match was Mark Shannon.

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