Saturday 4th October – Lisburn Invitational Junior League – under 16’s
Downpatrick FC 4 v’s North Belfast 2
With all other team playing in the Shield Downpatrick had the opportunity to go top of the league and they made the perfect start. Downpatrick took centre and the ball was played back to Conor Breen who passed it forward to Eoin Darragh, Darragh passed to Callum Shields who played in strike partner Ben Curran who slammed the ball home with only 25 seconds on the clock.
Callum Shields doubled Downpatrick’s advantage midway through the half when the big striker latched onto an Eoin Darragh cross and headed the ball home from 10 yards out. Eoin Darragh was causing the North Belfast left back all sorts of problems and was putting in a man of the match performance.
With half-time approaching the Downpatrick defence fell asleep and a mix-up between the goal keeper and centre back allowed the North Belfast striker to get in between them and bring his side back into the game.
Half Time: Downpatrick FC 2 v’s North Belfast 1
North Belfast’s confidence was sky high at the start of the second half having scored just before half time and they were enjoying their best spell of possession with the Downpatrick side struggling to get control of the game. The North Belfast pressure paid off five minutes into the second half when they scored an equaliser to make the score 2 – 2.
The industrious Andrew McCoubrey set up Downpatricks third and Shields second goal of the game, the tricky winger got in behind his marker and sent over a delightful cross which Shield met perfectly to guide the ball into the net. This goal re-energised the Downpatrick team and they could have went further in front but they struck the woodwork three times, saw chance after chance saved by the keeper or cleared off the line by the North Belfast defence.
With five minutes remaining Callum Shields completed his hat-trick, sealed all three points and sent Downpatrick to the top of the league. The big striker latched onto a through ball by right back John Hill and took the ball round the advancing keeper before coolly slotting the ball home.