North Down Ladies draw at Lisburn
By Roger Corbett
On Friday evening, North Down faced Lisburn in their final league match of the season, eventually drawing 10-10.
The match kicked off with North Down looking strong in both attack and defence. Unfortunately, however the game was halted after only 10 minutes when Natalie Watters sustained a serious ankle injury. At the same time one of the back row also left the pitch with a cut to the head. This upset the flow of the game for North Down, but with a few changes in the line-up, the girls knuckled down and got back to the game. Lisburn however got to grips with the game quicker than the visitors, running in two tries before half time.
At halftime, the coaches pulled the North Down girls in for a word. This seemed to spark a reaction with the team going on the attack from the outset. After a period of sustained pressure, Sian Owen crashed over to the right of the posts. The conversion attempt was close but just shaved the upright. Again the visitors went on the attack with the customary carries in the centre from Emma Coey, and Ellen Glynn showing the opposition a clean pair of heals play was taken deep into the opposition half. Time and time again the North Down side battered the try line with big carries from Hannah Simpson and Sarah Simms in the forwards while Ali Millar and Shel Laffin had a go in the backs. Eventually this pressure paid off when Laffin drove through to touch down wide out on the left. Again the conversion attempt went wide. The closing stages of the game saw some end to end play as both sides went hard at it for the win, but neither team could break down the defensive line of the opposition.
A 10 – 10 draw was a fair result for two development teams to end their first season. This Sunday (7th April) North Down are in the final of the Regenerate Shield. Finals day is being held at Carrick rugby club with the Junior Cup, the Regenerate Cup and the Regenerate Shield all being played one after the other. North Down take on the more experienced Belfast Harlequins kicking off at 1:00pm. Please come along and support the girls as they finish their first season on a high.