North Down thirds hosted Lisnagarvey fourths at Regent School on Saturday hoping to get back to winning ways. With a number of members missing on teams above, their squad featured five changes from the previous week’s draw in Cookstown.
From the off, the work rate from Purvis and Drysdale was second to none in midfield and up top Welsh and Irwin impressed tracking back and regaining possession for the Comber side.
The first half was all North Down but with no real threat to the Garvey keeper who remained untested. In defence, they controlled the tempo and restricted the visitors to the odd counter attack.
At half time the message was to keep possession and be patient, work it into the danger area and win some penalty corners. The plan worked and Tom Donnan came close with a drag flick shot just saved off the line. The deadlock was finally broken when Welsh created some space and found skipper Sam Pyper who beat the advancing keeper to the ball to slot home. However, North Down couldn’t keep their lead too long and, when they failed to clear the circle, Garvey equalised 2 minutes later with Alex Montgomery given no chance in goal.
At the break before the final quarter a frustrated Pyper demanded composure in the area to make the right pass following several wasted opportunities. The squad responded well with a great passing move and Irwin picked out Greg Bell who coolly finished to put the hosts one to the good. Well deserved for a terrific performance by the young man who lead from the front and showed a tactical and disciplined side to his game.
With ten minutes to go, a strike from Tom Donnan was kicked back out to the top of the circle and a first time strike by Pyper was well placed in the corner to end any hopes of the Lisburn men bringing a point home.
Burch Autos Man of the Match was Greg Bell