Having defeated Raphoe comfortably in the previous week in the league North Down as Irish Trophy holders were looking forward to their second round tie at Comber Leisure Centre against their Donegal visitors.
A copy of the script never made it to Raphoe however as they had other ideas and fought to the end despite having to defend for long periods. They were assisted at times by poor finishing and a little luck but to their credit they took their chances and can now look forward to a glamour trip to Newry in the next round.
Raphoe had the perfect start. Jonny Linter was caught in possession allowing Raphoe a two on one which they worked to their advantage. Andy Coates was left to make a last ditch tackle at the edge of the circle but was adjudged to have brought down the forward and Meehan converted from the spot. North Down were back on level terms when Phil Templeton converted a penalty corner after 10 minutes. Jonny Moore made a fine run and after rounding the keeper saw his shot rebound off the post to safety. Josh Gilmore had a goal disallowed when the umpire rightly adjudged he had used the wrong side of the stick. Ross Linter made a fine run and when the ball was played back to Gilmore he saw his shot go narrowly past. Coates then made two fine saves to keep the Raphoe forwards at bay.
The second half followed a similar pattern with North Down pressing and Raphoe defending with numbers. Wilson and McKeown both had chances which went a begging but North Down got the breakthrough they deserved when Linter played in Bond and he calmly slotted home from mid circle after 45 minutes. North Down won a corner and the ball was played to Gilmore whose shot was illegally stopped on the line by a defender. However Gilmore stepped up but his effort went wide. In the final 10 minutes Raphoe pressed hard for an equaliser. They were rewarded 5 minutes from the end when poor defending allowed them to win a second penalty which Coates got a hand to but Meehan’s effort trickled over the line.
There were no further goals and so it went to penalties. McKeown was unlucky when he beat the keeper but saw his effort go wide. Morris converted his but Orr was unlucky to have his penalty ruled out as the ball entered the net after the 8 seconds allowed. Templeton’s and Bond’s attempts went wide and Raphoe converted their first and last runs to progress to the next round.
PMB Man of the Match: Jordan Linter