By Laura Campbell
On Friday evening the ladies 2nds hosted Dromore 2nds at Comber Leisure Centre and with both teams being in the bottom half of a very tight league a win was a must for both teams.
North Down began the stronger of the two by dominating play and having good possession. Andrea Mockford and Rebecca Mercer led the way with great linking play up front with a few close calls and great defensive work needed from Dromore. Dromore went close twice in the first half with both chances just catching North Down too high resulting in shots just skimming the post, one involving Hannah Bates having to produce a strong save. These were Dromore’s only opportunities in the first half with Bethan Brittain in at sweeper producing some great tackles and switches of play from the back. This last close call finally roused North Down to action and they proceeded to play strong attacking hockey which finally paid off when a strong run into Dromore’s circle by Andrea Mockford led to a pass to the back post where Jenna Hoey made no mistake and put the Comber girls 1-0 up.
With play being mostly right sided, a great switch of play at the back from Karen Jackson over the left back Rebecca Brown allowed Rachel Lucas to get involved with great one two passing with Natasha Adamson allowing some more goal scoring opportunities. With the half time whistle the Comber girls went off the pitch feeling confident and knowing they had more goals to come in this match.
North Down picked up in the second half where they left off and in no time doubled their lead with once again Jenna Hoey finishing it off. This seemed to fire up the visitors who quickly got back into the match with a goal after a quick counter attack closely followed by the award of a penalty corner. Dromore with a quick ball out for a straight strike looked set for goal number two however a strong run out of goals from Judith Orr blocked the shot and gave the North Down midfielders a chance to get back and help out. North Down resumed the attack once again with a good pass up the wing to Laura Campbell which caught the Dromore off guard but Campbell’s cross to the back post was unlucky not to be netted by Barbara Moles.
Again this only seemed to fire Dromore up and with five minutes to go they caught North Down off guard and their left wing netted with a strong finish to tie the game at 2-2. The stage was set for a storming finish and it was the home team who came out on top. Their hard work in the closing minutes led to the award of a penalty corner just as the final whistle was blown. North Down brought everyone up to surround the circle but after a misplaced push Andrea Mockford was fortunate to gain a second chance for a defender’s obstruction. A strong push out this time from Laura Campbell to Ali Millar made the difference and she blasted home the ball to the bottom left corner giving the defenders and keeper no chance for an exciting 3-2 home win.
Player of the Match: Ali Millar.