North Down 5ths played Civil Service 4ths in a Junior League Five game in the late slot at Regent House on Saturday.
The first half was a fast paced, feisty affair right from the first whistle. North Down were soon ahead with Matthew Murray opening the scoring with his first goal for North Down, a roofed shot from the tightest of angles. The fifths were dominating play and quickly got a second through Ben Bond as Services’ discipline let them down resulting in a couple of cards. North Down took full advantage and Ben Bond quickly added to his tally with his second of the match. The goal to make it 4-0 was an absolutely sublime team goal pulling Service right across the pitch with slick passing, working the ball into circle with a series of one touch passes and Ryan Millar scoring the best goal of the game passing around the keeper. By now Service were all but lost at sea.
The umpires needed to take the sting to be taken out of the game into the second half as tempers flared. Almost 10 minutes of constant pressure from the home team resulted in Ben Bond getting his first hattrick, an event which stunned the supporters on the side line almost as much as it stunned Ben. Service pulled two goals back but it was too late as Andrew Linter, persevering in the circle, topped off a solid performance with a deserved goal. In the dying seconds Ryan Millar cut through the tired Service defence and smashed a reverse shot into the net to complete the 7-2 scoreline.
This was as good a team performance from all 15 players that you will see. Adam Skelly and Guy McGonigle slotted in beautifully, Ben Irwin got plenty of pitch time and has adjusted to senior hockey fantastically well. Curtis Hastings and James Stewart formed a solid centre defence pairing whilst the conductor of the orchestra was again Peter Shields.
PMB Man of the Match: Ben Bond