Portrush 1- 4 North Down
North Down travelled to Ballycastle last Saturday to play Portrush in a Senior League game.
North Down opened at a fast pace playing controlled hockey on a very slow pitch. In the opening minutes the ball was crashed in from the right and Gareth Bailie was on hand to slip past the keeper to give the visitors the lead. North Down continued to dominate and it came as no surprise when they increased their lead. Jonny Linter played a super ball down the right which found Rowan Poots and his cross was calmly flicked into the net by Bailie. However the Comber visitors took the foot off the pedal and allowed Portrush to exert some pressure. A harmless looking ball was crashed into the circle and when the North Down defenders did not deal with the situation the centre forward deflected past Gareth McBride to reduce the arrears. Portrush grew in confidence and it took a brave double save from McBride to stop the home side from drawing level. North Down then won a number of penalty corners but the delivery was poor and the Portrush goal escaped.
The second half was a different story with North Down dominating play throughout. They created several chances but a combination of poor finishing or good goalkeeping prevented them from increasing their lead. Midway through the half Poots got the ball in the net to give them a two goal cushion and minutes later he got his second with a snap shot which gave the keeper no chance and settle the issue with a 4-1 win for the visitors.
Report by Robin Mitchell