By Terry Ritchie
The seconds recorded their eleventh successive victory on Saturday with a 5-3 win over Civil Service thirds and while not one of the teams better performances, the 3 points extend the Seconds lead in Junior 2 to 5 points.
The game started with North Down playing fast controlled hockey. Service defended effectively and broke quickly when in possession. The Seconds first goal came after 10 minutes when Stevie Magee converted his side’s first penalty corner. Further chances were created but none taken and Service equalised when a mistake in the mid-field led to an easy chance for the visiting forward to convert. North Down’s lead was restored when Colin Mockford neatly tucked away a penalty corner switch after 20 minutes. Stevie Magee and the excellent Ryan Galway extended the lead with goals in the 22nd and 30th minutes. The half finished with Service converting a penalty corner with 3 minutes of the half remaining to make the score 4 2 at the break.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with North Down pressing too high up the pitch and a loss of shape in mid-field and defence. Service benefited from poor defending when a long ball was not cleared correctly and a grateful forward rounded the keeper to score and bring his team back into the game at 4 3. The seconds responded with the best goal of the game when Stevie Dalzell crashed in his teams fifth goal after 60 minutes. Further chances were created as North Down controlled the remainder of the game and were worthy winners.
Not a great performance, but a win is a win and the players were disappointed and know they can play much better in future games.
This Saturday the Seconds are at home to Glennane seconds in the Irish Junior Cup and are looking forward to a very competitive game against the Dublin team.