North Down travelled to Stormont on Wednesday evening to play NICS in their final league game of the season. A victory would guarantee them ninth position and possibly eighth in the premier
league depending on Newry’s results in their last 3 games.
It was a game of two halves with North Down dominating the first half and NICS the second. Play was even in the first 10 minutes but then NICS took the lead from their first short corner. The
visitors defence was caught out by a switch and they had a simple tap in at the back post. North Down upped their game and equalised 5 minutes later through Gilmore when he scored from
The visitors went ahead minutes later after they were awarded a penalty for a deliberate foul and McKibbin stepped up to score. Jonny Linter increased North Downs lead when he converted a short corner. North Down were in complete control but against the run of play Service pulled one back from another corner.Rodgers appeared to slip and the ball went in under
his body. On the stroke of half time Shannon put the visitors two goals clear when he converted a cross from the right.
North Down started the second period in a similar fashion cutting holes in the service defence. Wilson and Gilmore had great chances to put the game out of Services reach but in both
cases missed the target. For some reason North Down took the foot of the pedal and allowed Service to get control.
The remainder of the game was played deep in the North Down half with some desperate defending required to keep the home side out. Service pulled a goal back again from a corner when the ball was deflected into the net. North Down lost their discipline and MCKeown and Linter received cards. Rodgers made up for his earlier mistake when he made two smart saves from corners late in the game.
North Down were relieved to hear the final whistle and claim maximum points, PMB man of match Jonny Linter.