Campbellians 3 – 4 North Down
North Down and Campbellians met on Saturday to fulfil a fixture rearranged as a result of the original game not being played when umpires failed to turn up at the start time.
Again arrangements went awry when yet again no umpires turned up and officials from both sides had to take control of the game. It subsequently transpired that the umpires arrived at Comber for a 2.30 pm start! Both clubs had been heavily fined for the original misdemeanour and now look forward to receiving an explanation from the Ulster Hockey Union for this comedy of errors.
As for the actual game, North Down ran out winners by 4-3 in a dull affair which never really got going. Campbellians opened the scoring when the visitors’ defence was caught flatfooted and the centre forward had a clear run on goal. North Down equalised when Stephen Forrest scored after a fine run by Gareth McKeown. There was no real pattern to the game and Campbellians scored again when McBride was left exposed. He made the initial save but had no chance when the rebound was picked up and slammed home. North Down again equalised when Shepherd scored with a well placed flick from a short corner and then took a 3-2 lead when Forrest beat several players and passed to Rowan Poots to score from a narrow angle.
The second half continued in the same vein with neither team taking control. North Down had to reorganise with firstly Tom Donnan and then Mark Linter being injured. It was Campbellians who equalised midway through the half and it looked like both teams were settling for a draw but coach Mills took a chance and reintroduced Donnan with 10 minutes remaining. The gamble paid off as moments later Donnan received the ball outside the circle and evaded a number of tackles before unleashing a reverse shot past Marshall for the decisive goal.
Report by Robin Mitchell.