On Saturday the North Down ladies first eleven hosted Priorians at Comber Leisure Centre in the Senior League with an away cup win and league draw with their north west opponents already under their belts.
Following a four week break due to Christmas and holidays North Down were anticipating a rusty performance to begin with but started off well putting pressure on the Priorians circle, winning some short corners but not creating any clear cut opportunities. The North Down defence had to be wary of the two high Priorians forwards and Rachel Mornin and Sarah Moorcroft concentrated well, intercepting most of the long balls up to the forwards. Despite edging the early exchanges, North Down found themselves behind when a strong run on the right hand side from Priorians was allowed to go unchallenged into the circle and a good finish ensued.
At half time North Down were asked to focus on patience around the circle and not forcing the play.
As with the first half, North Down dominated but conceded an early goal with another strong drive into the circle from Priorians. North Down reacted well to this set back and with Olivia Brown prompting from midfield dominated possession and territory. A number of circle entries led to chances and short corners but none were taken. With four minutes to go North Down gave themselves hope when a great ball from Lauren Brown found Caitlin Taylor in a good position at the back post where she finished calmly. North Down poured forward but could not find the equaliser their play warranted.
Another defeat for North Down in a game where statistically they were dominant in terms of possession, territory, circle entries and short corners. Maintaining the same standard of general play and sharpening up in both circles will see a return to winning ways sooner rather than later.
PMB Player of the Match: Olivia Brown