A ‘Wise’ Gin Infused Geriatric hockey playing (and occasional match reporting) man once told me – ‘A squad of 15 is one too many’. The 2s game away to Garvey2s yesterday proved that is possibly not always the case…
The match started with our full quota of 14 fit(ish) players available and ready to take on a strong Garvey 2s side in a Junior League One Cup game. North struggled initially in the first quarter to grab a foothold in the game and this resulted in Garvey going 1-0 up with a tap in at the back post. North responded with a couple of chances of their own but could not convert and with final ball lacking as they got used to the slow pitch. Robbie Sinclair also hobbled off with a gammy hamstring to leave North 1-0 down and 13 men available at the end of Q1.
Q2 was by far the most eventful quarter of the match. Garvey proceeded to grab another goal to go 2-0 up. There was disarray on the North Down bench as Jamie Orr broke his collar bone on the back of a robust challenge and Shea Kelly’s knee ‘popped’ resulting in both players being unable to play a further part in the match. While all this was going on Gareth Bailie got onto the end of a Jonny Moore cross to pull a goal back for North. As half time approached Jamie and Shea headed off to A&E and the score remained 2-1 to Garvey at the break.
After a half time team talk of more or less ‘look around boys this is it for the rest of the match’ North came out of the blocks quickly and Jonny Moore converted to make the score 2-2! Game on! North Down remained the better side for the majority of Q3 but could not manage to find the 3rd goal.
By the time we got to Q4 North continued to push for the elusive 3rd goal with Gareth McKeown coming close from a couple of well executed short corners, the ball refusing to drop for Bailie to convert and Jonny Moore providing a real threat with his pace in behind the Garvey back line. Against the run of play Garvey managed to notch a third when one to their forwards was left unmarked leaving Darren Rodgers in nets with no chance. North Down nearly got the equaliser with the best move of the game. Long ball played up to Scott Moore who controlled the pass and turned to play in Jonny Moore who narrowly missed trying to lob the keeper. Match finished 3-2 to Garvey.
Oh and in conclusion the ‘wise’ man was / is not so wise after all… no surprises here.
Burch Autos Man of the Match was Jonny Moore