Seconds through to Plate semi
North Down ladies seconds continued their remarkable season with a convincing home win against Raphoe seconds in the quarter finals of the Intermediate Plate. Having already won the league, they were determined to keep their momentum going in this crucial match and attempt to do the double.
From the outset, the team looked sharp and focused. They dominated possession and put their opponents under pressure with some excellent passing and movement. Hollie Davies was a livewire in attack, working well with Jenna Pliagua and Tilly Nield to force some early saves from the Raphoe defence.
North Down were unable to take advantage of the many penalty corners won in the first half of the match, with Caitlyn Adair and Ali Campbell both having strikes saved. The team continued trying different options left and right to get it over the line but the score remained 0-0 at halftime.
A good pep talk from coach Darren Toombs had the hosts raising their level at the start of the third quarter and some slick passing from Megan Spence in midfield and Adair on the right found Connie Magee who played an inch perfect cross into the circle for Tilly Nield to finish from close range, not giving the Raphoe keeper a chance.
The goal seemed to galvanize the team, who continued to push forward with pace. They doubled their lead shortly after when Nield struck again from close range. The attacks continued through the quick passing game of Kate McConnell threading dangerous balls through for the forwards on the edge of the circle and some strong runs from Angelique Toombs through the middle of the pitch.
Raphoe fought back and were quick on the break, but the North Down defence was solid with strong tackling from Karen Moore at the back denying them any clear-cut chances on Barthe McCormick in goal.
In the final quarter a penalty corner was well won by Adair but Pliauga’s strike was just wide of goal. North Down’s attackers continued to fight hard in the circle and were rewarded with penalty stroke after Nield’s shot hit a foot on the line. Connie Magee stepped up but her strong shot was just saved by the Raphoe keeper, leaving the score 2-0 as the final whistle blew.
Burch Autos Player of the Match was shared between Connie Magee and Hollie Davies.