On Saturday the ladies seconds made the short trip up the road to face Civil Service seconds in the first round of the Irish Junior Cup. The Comber girls entered the game knowing that Civil Service last season were the only team to beat them so were fully aware it would be a tough battle.
North Down started very slowly trying to get to grips with Civil’s formation and were letting them dictate the game. Finally ten minutes in North woke up and got into their usual team play. Good work on the left flank from Kerry Portinga fed the ball from the defence to Julie Fisher who working hard in the circle gained a short corner for her efforts. With a good ball out Kathy Taylor drew the first runner out before slipping the ball right to captain Amy Jones who slotted the ball in the bottom left corner. This opened the flood gates. A quick free taken by Laura Campbell found Sacha Bell on the left post to slot in the second goal and as half time approached the Comber girls pushed for a third. With great work and movement from Jenna Hoey and Emma McAllister in midfield and the speed upfront of Sophie Clements pressure built and the ball found itself to Bell once again and her reverse side shot beat the keeper on her right post. This took the ladies into half time with a great 3-0 advantage.
Civil Service came out in the second half and fought hard to get into the game winning a series of short corners. However the North Down defence were on fine form and great work from second runner Alex Boyd blocked most of the shots. Those that she didn’t were dealt with by Chrissie McKee who was on hand with brilliant saves throughout the game to keep the Comber girls in for a win. North Down went for one final attack in the closing minutes. Karen Moore supplied a great through ball to Emily Adams who was able to spin off a few defenders to place a ball into the circle. With a deflection off a home stick the ball went high and with no other players around Amy Jones was able to guide the ball into the back of the net to guarantee a place in the second round.
Report by Laura Campbell.