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Non Sibi Cunctus.
Match : 3rd XI v North Down 5ths
Date : 2001-10-06
Venue : A
Score : 4-3
Scorers : Baird(2), Greer, Menaul
By 3rd XI Captain
A dazzlingly determined and dynamic 3rd XI took to the "All Weather" at Comber to test the might of the North Down 5th.
The team has been extensively reconstructed for this outing with the return, after missing much of last season through injury, of that essence of sartorial elegance Gary Hooks at Right Back. The Beak was moved into the centre forward slot where it was felt his mobility and experience would be of greatest value. BRA produce a trio of young hopefuls in the form of Dinger Bell at left and Gerard Mahoney at right midfield and Johnny Duncan at Right wing. Last, but definitely not least, the return, after a long lay off, sporting a hairline fitting in well with Ivan and the Beak, of Gordon Gillespie into the Centre Back slot was a welcome addition to the defence.
The first half definitely belonged to E Antrim as the centres controlled the game to the greater extent and any break through was demolished by Ivan sweeping with his usual panache, and David Menaul and Gary competently blocking out the wings. Gordon showed his competence at holding up the ball and distributing to our own players, a trick that we have often missed in the past.
Three goals were the reward at half time, 1 each for Eddy Baird, Jamesie Greer and David Menaul. Unbelievably one of these came from a short corner. It would also be unfair not to mention Johnny Duncan's contribution in some excellent crosses from the right wing.
Ivan's usual perceptive team talk predicted a new approach from the opposition at the start of the second half and this is exactly what happened.
N Down were far more mobile and moved the ball about with far more conviction than they had shown previously. They were rewarded with another goal shortly after the resumption and things were looking distinctly dodgy at 3 - 2.
The "Beak" made an absolutely spectacular miss past an open goal and both Eddy and Johnny were unlucky to shoot just wide. Eddy was eventually rewarded by a second goal to give a two goal cushion, but once again N Down came back and, with fifteen minutes to go the 1 goal difference look decidedly shaky.
In the last quarter Gary showed his lack of match awareness by attempting to head away a shot at goal, unsurprisingly this actually resulted in a short. (Gary is, thankfully, unharmed).
In the end terrier like tenacity by Gerard, who definitely did not like Down players trying to get past him, a competent Performance by Dinger Bell and hard work by all concerned resulted in a deserved win.