North Down travelled to Mossley on Saturday for a Premier League game. After the disappointment of making an exit from the Irish Trophy last week they were hoping to get back to winning ways. In a rather dull and disappointing game both sides had to settle for a point following a 2-2 draw.
The Branch were unable to provide official umpires for the game and it was down to both teams to provide an umpire. Richard Bruce and his Mossley counterpart did a fine job allowing the game to flow and dealing with any issues as they arose.
The first quarter had little to mention as both teams competed in midfield to gain supremacy. The only goalmouth action came when Jordan Linter made a fine run upfield and his cross was missed by the incoming Josh Gilmore a couple of yards out.
The second period saw both teams raise their game and Mossley won a corner after Darren Rodgers had made a save but this came to nothing .Rodgers then had to be alert to deal with a dangerous overhead ball. Ross Linter made a run but was unable to find Fynn who had found space at the top of the circle. North Down won a free on the 25 and McGimpsey found Gilmore who swivelled at the top of the circle and crashed an unstoppable reverse into the roof of the net. North Down conceded a soft corner which was saved by Rodgers but the ball broke to a Mossley player in mid circle and he slotted home on the reverse.
The third quarter began with Mossley on the attack and Linter deflected a short corner strike round the post. A Mossley free led to them taking the lead when they fed the ball into the left of the circle and poor marking allowed the winger to slot home on his reverse. North Down had little to offer at this stage as an attacking force and Mossley were controlling play.
Coach McSherry changed things in the final quarter but North Down failed to threaten the Mossley goal and Mossley were happy to crash the ball over the byline as they held onto their slender lead. With 5 minutes remaining McSherry took off his keeper giving him an extra outfield player but almost immediately Mossley should have increased their lead when a quick break saw them run in on an empty goal but the forward shot wide. This gave North Down some hope and as they pressed they won a free on the 25. With the clock running down and only 2 minutes remaining the ball was played to McKeown who made ground before crossing across the face of the goal where the unmarked Gilmore had a simple tap in to make the scores level. North Down’s skipper Ross Linter pulled a hamstring and had to leave the field allowing young Scott Graham to make his senior debut.
Burch Autos Man of the Match: Josh Gilmore