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Second half goal spree in Bangor

North Down travelled to the Aurora Centre in Bangor on Saturday to play their final Premier League game of the season. With nothing at stake for either team, North Down took the opportunity to introduce 15 year old James Shields to senior hockey and give him some valuable pitch time.

There was little goalmouth action in the first quarter but Jordan Linter had to be on his toes to clear a dangerous overhead ball. Bangor then won a corner for feet. The initial shot was saved at the expense of another but this time the shot on goal went wide. A pass out to Connor Tweedie was intercepted but the reverse shot was high and wide. North Down took the lead when Ross Linter made a strong run down the right winning a corner which was expertly dispatched into the net by Jonny Linter.

North Down played their possession game in the second quarter frustrating Bangor and leaving Darren Rodgers as a virtual passenger in goal. Ross and Jonny Linter combined to win a corner but this was cleared and then good work by Matthew Bruce won another corner but the home keeper made a fine double save.

Bangor picked up their game in the second half and ran the North Down defence ragged. Within a five minute spell they scored three very similar goals. The forwards used their pace to get behind the North Down defence attacking along the byline and squaring for simple tap ins. Shields found Gareth McKeown who won a long corner but this was easily cleared and just before the end of the quarter Bangor won a corner which Burgess hammered home to make it 4-1.

Early in the final quarter North Down pulled one back when Ross Linter played a fine ball into the circle to McKeown who controlled it and smashed a reverse into the goal. Bangor came back almost immediately and won a corner which Burgess again converted to restore their three goal advantage.

Ross Linter was winning his battle on the right and won a corner. McKeown’s effort was stopped on the line by a defender’s foot and McKeown made no mistake from the resulting penalty stroke. .Just on the final whistle Bangor again got behind the visitors’ defence and squared to make the final score 6-3 to the hosts.

North Down must now wait until promotion and relegation from EHL is finalised to see if they have a playoff with the runners up in Senior League One.

Burch Autos Man of the Match was Jonny Linter

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