On Saturday North Down seconds hosted a strong Lurgan thirds team in one of their toughest matches of the season so far in their bid for league honours.
The North Down girls got off to an unsettled start allowing Lurgan to score a goal in the early stages of the match. North Down settled and got into their style of play and began to pressure the Lurgan defence. Play ran up and down the pitch with good attempts on goal with both teams looking strong. North Down’s efforts were rewarded before the end of the first half when Laura Campbell hit a super ball into the circle which Brittany Hogan got on the end of. The young striker controlled the ball and after beating two Lurgan players was left one on one with the keeper. She slotted the ball into the back of the net leaving the scoreline an even 1-1 at half time.
In the second half, North Down played some lovely pass and move hockey between the midfields and forwards, forcing the Lurgan defence to work hard. The home side got ahead when Olivia Brown scored to make it 2-1 to North Down. Olivia was unfortunate not to score again as the Lurgan keeper, after diving to save a shot, got a stick to the ball and cleared the shot. Lurgan looked strong on the attack but the North Down defence worked hard to clear the ball with Rebecca Walker making perfectly timed tackles. North Down increased their lead when a ball from Julie Fisher found its way into the circle. It was picked up by Jenna Hoey who hit it on her reverse to score the third and final goal for the home side. Both teams had shots saved on the line with Keri Portinga clearing for North Down. At the end of the game, Lurgan were pushing to reduce the deficit and were awarded two short corners in the dying minutes of the match. The home side denied the visitors to finish the game with a 3-1 win.
The seconds have continued their unbeaten league run and a draw this Saturday will confirm them as league champions! Report by Karen Moore.