North Down fifths crashed out of the league cup at Strathearn last Saturday at the hands of a strong Annadale fourths team. Well, that’s what the match card said.
Yet again a sluggish start from the Comber men gifted the home side a two goal advantage in the first quarter. Not any individual fault just a collective lethargy. The second quarter was much better and North Down started to move the ball about the back where both Curtis Hastings and Davy Moreland had solid games in the middle. North Down had a number of short corners and were very unlucky not to halve the deficit.
The fifths continued to press in the Dale final quarter with nice interchange play down the left from Angus Johnston and Johnny Proctor who squared the ball to the flick spot and Simon Wilcock cracked home a stunner high to the keeper’s left and into the roof of the net. In the dying seconds of the half Roger Graham made a wonder save to keep it at 2-1 at half time.
In the third quarter North Down continued pressing but despite James Stewart going agonisingly close the score remained 2-1. The away team were definitely looking the favourites to score the next goal and so they did. With some tenacious tackling in the middle from Peter Shields the ball was fed out to the right to Shea Kelly who slipped a great ball to Johnston and his sharp pass into the circle was superbly finished by Greg Bell low to the keeper’s right. All square and it was game on.
At this point Annadale took off all 3 of their Junior 4 players and finished out the match with their Junior 1 outfit. North Down were tiring and Dale finally took the lead with 15 mins remaining. Dale 2s proved too strong and scored a breakaway goal against a two man defence as North were pushing for the equaliser that would see them through but it wasn’t to be and the final score was 4-2 to Annadale.
Adam Skelly played most of the match at left back and the young Bangor man gave everything he had. He has a great work ethic, does whatever is asked and isn’t shy to get stuck in and was just pipped for man of the match by Davy Moreland.
Burch Autos Man of the Match: Davy Moreland.