North Down ladies travelled to Ferris Park in Dromore last Saturday without a win since early October and hoping to get points on the board.
The game started with some strong and steady play from North Down with Heather Shannon, Bethan Crawford and Caitlin Taylor in defence working the ball around the back quickly and smoothly and hitting the gaps into the attacking circle. An early corner came for North Down but it was well saved by Dromore’s keeper. There was equal possession between teams as North Down started settling into the game. A penalty corner for Dromore gave them an opportunity to take the lead but hitting it high kept it at 0-0. This was until late into the first quarter when Rachel Andrews found Rachel Murphy on the left who slotted it into the circle where Sophie Hoey knocked it past the keeper and into the net for the opener.
Dromore started the second quarter with some attacking play but the visitors’ defence cleared the pressure well. Some great play starting from a hit out with Bethan Crawford, through to Andrews in the centre, then onto Hoey and Rhiannon Davies who worked well together to secure another penalty corner but the score remained 1-0. Dromore were quick to capitalise on a counter attack however Kathryn McGregor made some cracking saves against Dromore’s drag flicks and rebounds to keep North Down in the lead by half time.
North Down took the third quarter by storm playing brilliantly as a team and passing quickly around the opposition resulting in Angelique Toombs taking a strike on goal. Losing possession in the attacking quarter left North Down exposed and Dromore took their opportunity to take the game to 1-1. However North Down responded immediately with a quick break where Lois Wilson closed in on a rebound and put the visitors back ahead at 2-1. With the momentum in their favour and with some short sharp passes in the middle between Olivia Brown and Megan Murray then out to Kirsty Boobyer on the right brought more pressure on Dromore’s defence. A long corner, worked into the circle by Bethany Burrows resulted in a penalty corner from which Burrows scored to make it 3-1.
Dromore went on the attack in the final quarter, putting on four forwards and pressure on North Down. Some great saves from McGregor kept North Down in the lead but Dromore took their chance from a penalty corner to pull one back to 3-2. Some lovely play up the right wing from Caitlin Taylor to Sophie Hoey as well as a lovely ball from Heather Shannon to Rachael Murphy on the left gave the visitors chances in the attacking quarter however Dromore made a break for goal and the score went to 3-3. Both teams upped their tempo with the ball going end to end in the last few minutes of the game as both teams pushed for the winner but it finished all square at 3-3.
Burch Autos Player of the Match was Rachel Andrews