Mens first eleven in Irish Trophy final

North Down entertained South Antrim at Comber Leisure Centre on Saturday in the semi-final of the Irish Trophy and looking to reach the final for the third time. By coincidence, the visitors were the opposition in the final five years ago when North Down won 3-2.

The game started at a fast pace in front of the largest crowd of the season and it was South Antrim who had the opening chances, however Darren Rodgers in the home goal made two top saves in the opening minutes. But after 5 minutes Jamie Orr scored with a strong strike to give the home team a dream start. Two minutes later a mazy run from captain Ross Linter along the right channel created the opportunity for Josh Gilmore to score North Down’s 2nd.  North Down settled into the game and started to play some flowing hockey eventually leading to a short corner which Phil Templeton dispatched right at the close of the first quarter leaving North Down well in control 

South Antrim to their credit didn’t disappear and retaliated with a goal by Max Taylor on 23 minutes to keep the game alive.  Despite chances at either end it remained 3-1 at half time.

Into the second half Darren Rodgers made an important save on 48 minutes from the visitors' striker who looked certain to score but he was unable to keep out James Brown who brought it back to 3-2 from a penalty corner 2 minutes later to reignite the contest. However, North Down continued to play impressive attacking hockey and replied again with a Templeton drag flick to regain the two goal advantage. 

The last quarter was just as entertaining, with South Antrim awarded a penalty stroke. Rodgers in the home goal stood strong with an excellent save to maintain North Down's advantage. This was a pivotal moment, as North Down went on to score two more from Gareth McKeown and Andrew Welsh to round off a fantastic 6-2 victory and secure passage to the Irish Trophy final in Dublin.

Despite the apparently convincing scoreline, there was little to choose between the two teams.  If anything, South Antrim made more mistakes at important moments and the form of Rodgers in the home goal was decisive.

Burch Autos Man of the Match was Darren Rodgers.

2 thoughts on “Mens first eleven in Irish Trophy final

  • February 28, 2022 at 7:39 pm

    Any idea when the final will be ?

    • March 1, 2022 at 12:20 pm

      7 May likely at UCD Dublin


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