Raphoe found themselves on the back foot trying to get a grip on the match in the early stages, however, the intensity of their counterparts made this a challenge.
Raphoe’s defensive strategies kept North Down’s chances to a minimum with crucial tackles breaking down play.
As the first half ended Raphoe were one goal down and had little chances to question the defence and goalkeeper of North Down.
Half-time saw a Raphoe team regroup, reflect on their performance and rectify issues that the first half presented – a focused team emerged.
Raphoe and North Down went head to head with both teams looking goal hungry. Raphoe put the match on a level pegging with a beautiful passage of play.
The Donegal girls were back on level terms and ready to hunt for more opportunities to turn this game in their favour.
The momentum continued for Raphoe. Leanne Patterson was weaving in and out of players avoiding numerous heavy tackles.
The ball was saved and as North Down scrambled to make a clearance Wendy Patterson found herself in the right place at the right time and slammed in her second goal of the day.
Raphoe didn’t have the second half all their way. North Down continued to pressurise, Lisa Patterson, Lyndsey Tinney and Victoria Wray were instrumental in breaking down play and intercepting the ball. The hosts came extremely close to levelling the game with a fast break.
The goalie made the decision to dive low and while she made the attempt on goal all the more difficult the danger was not at bay. With the keeper, a little stranded A Kilpatrick swooped in to make a crucial tackle and clear the ball to avoid the Raphoe Ladies conceding.
The game continued and the intense battle was evident. A number of green cards were shared between both teams.
North Down were not going to go quietly and battled to the bitter end and they were very unfortunate not to score with a deflection. Raphoe breathed a sigh of relief as they admired the attempt as it dipped slightly wide.
Raphoe had fought back and their superior fitness was a clear and decisive factor in the outcome of the game. Next week Raphoe hope to continue their success with a home game against CI in Raphoe.