North Down thirds started 2017 with a home fixture last Saturday at Comber Leisure Centre against Queen’s seconds.
Both teams started strongly with fast-flowing attacking hockey on show. The best chance of the first half fell to Jonny Proctor after a well worked Jordan McKee attack down the right wing set up Proctor in the circle who shot wide. Both teams pushed for a goal with North Down having a few scares before the half time break. Roger Graham in nets ensured the score remained 0-0 pulling off a vital save.
A positive half time team talk set the team up well and emphasized the need for an early goal in the second half. Things didn’t work out as planned though as both teams cancelled each other out. A strong North Down defence made up of the experienced Dorian and Mockford was able to cope well with the few Queens’ short corners. As the half wore on, North Down struggled to create that killer pass to pinch the lead and instead allowed Queens to go ahead after a foul on the edge of the circle meant a free hit was awarded. The ball wasn’t cleared as it was played in and it then fell to a Queen’s player who smashed it into the net.
At 1-0 down it became even more difficult for the home side to find a way back into the game. A few chances in the final 10 minutes created a frantic finale, however Queen’s held on and left with all three points. For the thirds, this was another positive performance but again they were left with nothing to show for their efforts.
PMB Man of the Match: Roger Graham .
Report from Sam Brown.