North Down thirds first game back after the Christmas break was at home against one of the toughest teams in the league, Saintfield seconds. Having been previously beaten by them at the start of the season on Saintfield’s gravel pitch North Down then evened up the tally by putting them out of the Junior Cup. All the girls knew that this game would be tough but were confident of coming away with the three points.
The majority of the first half of the game was spent in the Saintfield circle. North Down had plenty of chances to get ahead through a number of penalty corners and one on ones with the goalkeeper but they failed to get on the score sheet. Saintfield were very quick on the break and had several chances but goalkeeper Linda Marshall kept the defenders in line and cleared the attacking play with ease. Towards the end of the first half North Down settled into the game and with one two passes down both sides of the pitch applied great pressure on the Saintfield defence, however the half finished scoreless.
The second half started again with even play on both sides but Saintfield broke away and after skimming North Down’s sweeper they got the first goal of the match. North Down fought back and spent much of the rest of the game in the visitors’ half with great play between left midfielder Emma Gowdy and centre forward Britney Hogan. After some scrappy play in the circle Britney Hogan finally found the back of the net after a ball was crossed in from the right hand side. The home team worked tirelessly until the end, fighting for every ball to try and get the much needed second goal to win them the game but time eventually ran out.
Thanks very much to all the girls for putting 110% effort in and to Laura Campbell for umpiring.
Report by Kathryn Rogers.