North Down thirds travelled to Dromore thirds on a rainy Saturday to play in the first round of the Junior Cup and after a heavy 6-1 league defeat at the start of the season North Down were determined to put in a better performance.
North Down were strong right from the start and the first goal came from a ball to Beverly Brittain from left back Kerry Portinga who played it across beautifully to Jo Irwin who placed it into the back of the net. Dromore quickly fought back and shortly equalised. Dromore played well on the attack but came up against sweeper Rebecca Nield and Judith Orr in excellent form in the visitors’ defence. Towards the end of the first half North Down won several penalty corners where they scored twice more with another from Jo Irwin and one from Beverly Brittain.
With a very positive team talk at half time North Down knew they had to keep control of the game to maintain their lead. No sooner had the whistle blown to restart the game but Sacha Bell had a fantastic run on the left hand wing to play a great ball into the circle for Beverly Brittain to get her second goal of the match. Again Dromore fought back and reduced the arrears after a one on one with goal keeper Natasha Morton. Natasha almost clearing her line but the ball just slipped pass. North Down’s defence were under pressure again but with great defensive work Dromore were kept at bay. With minutes remaining, North Down hit Dromore on the break and centre forward Beth Murray got her first goal of her hockey career and North Down held it tight until the end eventually finishing with a 5-2 victory.
Player of the match – Sacha Bell