North Down hosted South Antrim on Saturday in the league with both teams looking to keep their 100% winning record intact. However it was North Down who came away with the spoils after a hard fought 2-1 win.
North Down played fast attacking hockey and were the vastly superior side in the first half leading 2-0 at half time although a number of chances went begging which would have increased this margin. The first chance of the match fell to Simon Watt when he was unlucky to see his shot fly past the angle of the goal. The deadlock was broken 15 minutes into the game when the umpire awarded a short corner to the home side which Chris Speers dispatched expertly into the roof of the net. North down continued to press and boss the game and it was a lovely piece of skill from Mark Forrest which set up Simon Watt to coolly slot home first time from a lovely cut back.
The second half started where the first left off but as South Antrim began pressing higher up the pitch nerves crept into the North Down team and some last ditch tackles were needed to stop South Antrim from scoring. The last 20 minutes saw three green cards, two of which were for the home team in Mark Linter and Chris Speers. All three cards were soft but it was South Antrim that took the initiative in this period when they found Marc Conn with a bit of space in the circle and the forward slid the ball under the advancing McBride. The game should have been put to bed in the final minute when the ball fell to North Down skipper Bailie who controlled the ball in space in the circle only to be thwarted by Chris Moulded the South Antrim keeper not once but twice as the keeper made an excellent reaction save to deny Bailie on the rebound.