Match ReportsMens

Final summary of mens first eleven games

North Down Secure Premier League Status on 4 May

North Down played Mossley at Stormont on as both teams fought for the final place in next seasons Premier League.

North Down had most of the play but were unable to convert chances in front of goal.  McKeown had an early run into the Mossley circle but the pressure was cleared.  Jonny Linter played a fine overhead pass to Gilmore but his reverse shot was well saved.  Gilmore and Boyd played a one two to open up the Mossley defence but feet got in the way and the danger was averted.  Mossley attacked the circle but their attempt on goal was wide and did not trouble Rodgers.  Ross Linter made ground on the right but his cross was cleared.

In the second quarter Johnny Linter found Gilmore but his pass was played behind Bailie and the ball went harmlessly over the line.  North Down won the first corner of the game but Gilmore’s effort was blocked and the danger cleared.  Bailie took a quick free but unfortunately had no support and Mossley easily cleared.  North Down won a series of corners before half time.  The first was saved and McKeown thought he had scored the second only for the umpire to disallow saying the ball was stopped inside the circle.  Just before the whistle McKeown had another chance but the delivery was not accurate and the ball was cleared.

The second half began with North Down on the attack.  Ross Linter took a quick free winning a corner as Mossley had not retreated 5 yards but McKeown’s effort was saved.  Scott Irwin went on a dazzling run leaving defenders in his wake and was unlucky when he saw his effort from a narrow angle rattle off the post to safety.  Andy Welsh was making an impression with his strong runs and had a shot saved and then passed to Gilmore who saw his shot well cleared.

The final quarter was nervy as neither side were looking forward to the prospect of run ins.  North Down had another corner saved and then they broke the deadlock with 10 minutes remaining.  The ball was crossed from the left and McKeown saw his goal bound shot deflect off a defender’s stick into the net for the decisive goal.  Mossley pushed forward in search of the equaliser but found the Comber defence well marshalled by the Linters Mark, Jonny, Jordan and Ross.  In the final minute Mossley won their first corner. The initial shot was blocked but the ball rebounded to a Mossley forward but he shot weakly at Rodgers’ goal and the ball was cleared leaving North Down winners by 1-0

Thanks to the loyal band of supporters for their encouragement throughout the game.  We look forward to seeing you all again next week at Lisnagarvey for the final of the Irish Trophy against Kilkeel

Burch Autos Man of the Match.  Everyone played their part and all deserve a share of the award.

No Joy for North Down in Irish Trophy Final on 11 May

North Down and Kilkeel contested the Irish Trophy final at sunny Lisnagarvey on 11 May with Kilkeel running out winners by 6-2.

Having secured their place in the Premier League North Down were unable to raise their game against a strong Kilkeel squad and had to be satisfied with runners up spot.

The first quarter was evenly contested as both sides fought for supremacy. North Down won an early corner but McKeowns effort went wide.  Kilkeel, always dangerous on the break, attacked down the right but the cross went behind the advancing forward.  Ross Linter and Gilmore combined to win a corner but this was easily cleared. At the other end Kilkeel won a corner but Jordan Linter expertly cleared off the line.  Just before the whistle Blair made a great run and saw his effort cleared off the line.

Kilkeel took the lead early on in the second quarter.  A quick break caught the North Down defence too far up the pitch and the forward collected an overhead before rounding Rodgers and slotting home.  Kilkeel were unable to retain their lead for any length of time as Tweedie who was covering a lot of ground won a corner and McKKeown slotted it into the bottom corner.  Kilkeel won a corner but this was easily cleared. Tweedie was caught in possession allowing a Kilkeel forward a run in on goal but his effort went wide.  McKeown waiting on support got caught in possession and a quick break won them another corner.  The initial corner was saved but Kilkeel reacted quickest and slotted home the rebound.  Just before halftime North Down won a couple of corners but these went wide.

Early in the second period Kilkeel took control of the game.  Rodgers was called on to make an early save and then they increased their lead when a mishit corner was expertly tucked into the net by an incoming forward.  Blair who was causing danger won a corner but this came to nothing.  With the North Down defence at sixes and sevens Kilkeel added a fourth.  McKeown won a corner but this was easily saved.

Rodgers made a superb save from a reverse shot which was destined for the top corner.  The Comber defence was unable to clear a corner allowing a Kilkeel forward in to score number 5.  North Down did not give up by winning three corners in a row and Bailie running in at the back post reduced the arrears.  Kilkeel completed the scoring when they were awarded a dubious penalty with Tweedie being penalised for what appeared to be a perfect tackle.  The umpires conferred but stuck with their original decision.  Despite a valiant effort Rodgers was unable to keep the stroke out.  Just before the end skipper Wilson made a great run beating several players but his cross evaded everyone.

Congratulations to Kilkeel on a well deserved victory

Burch Autos Man of the Final was Connor Tweedie.

Banbridge too strong for a weakened North Down on 15 May

North Down entertained Banbridge in the semi final of the Anderson Cup on 15 May and having lost to Kilkeel in the final of the Irish Trophy 4 days earlier, were without eight members of the squad, and going into the fixture with some trepidation . However those who stepped up did themselves and the Club proud.

Peter Gray, deputising in goal, was brought into the action after 3 minutes and made a fine save from a short corner. Banbridge won a penalty midway through the quarter after an interception and a quick break into the circle.  Gray made a fine attempt getting a hand to the ball but the pace took it into the net.  Jordan Linter, who was having a fine game at the heart of the defence, made a great tackle to keep an eager Banbridge forward out.

At the start of the second quarter Gilmore had a shot saved but Banbridge piled on the pressure though their goal attempts were restricted to short corners which were dealt with superbly by Gray.

North Down with only 14 players in their squad were beginning to show signs of tiredness and Bann increased their lead early in the third quarter converting a cross from the right.  They scored their third just before the break in similar fashion.  In between, Gray continued to frustrate Bann with superb saves from short corners.

In the final quarter Bann scored 3 further goals, the best being a reverse shot which flew into the net. North Down’s best chance fell to Gilmore but his reverse was well saved by the Bann keeper.

A special thanks to all those who stepped up, in particular to veteran Sam Pyper who made his debut after 27 years at the Club and also 15 year old Patrick Smith.

Burch Autos Man of the Match was Peter Gray.

So, that’s all folks for this season.  Our last Premier League game was on 9 March but we had to wait until 4 May for a Premier League play off survival game – that can’t be right!!!

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