North Down thirds made the short journey to Deramore Park last Friday evening to play Belfast Harlequins fifths and having won 2-0 earlier in the season were confident they could do it again.
The first half was very much even as both teams started off strongly with each having a number of chances to get the first goal of the game. In tricky weather conditions North Down played a great first half with excellent one two passing between the midfield and the forwards and went close at their first penalty corner with a shot just going wide of the post. The home team however got the first goal of the game after a well worked penalty corner hit the backboard. North Down fought back and a flowing movement on 31 minutes involving Kathryn Rogers and Laura Murray ended in Natalie Strain scoring at the far post to make it 1-1.One minute later and the visitors made it 2-1 when Natalie Strain was on hand with her second goal of the game.
The second half was all Harlequins however as they tried in vain for the equaliser but with great defending from Rachel Gibson and Karen Jackson they found it difficult to break through. Goalkeeper Linda Marshall was on top form keeping the defenders on their toes and saving several penalty corners with ease. North Down eventually got back into the game with Emma Gowdy and Megan Spence well to the fore but the Harlequins’ centre back and sweeper proved to be too strong and with no goals in the second half North Down ran out 2-1 winners.
Player of the Match: Rachel Gibson
Report by Kathryn Rogers