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Down 1st XI vs Portrush 1st XI - 25th November 2017

Down played Portrush at home this weekend in the semi-final of the league Cup and were unlucky not to progress to the final. Down were missing their regular keeper, but Phillip Brown put on the pads and did an admiral job for the home side.

The game started, on a cold November afternoon, with both teams making their presence felt. The umpires stepped in to take control of the game with a number of Ports players being asked to take a few minutes on the side-line. But it was Portrush who got the first break in the game, a mistake by Erskine in collecting an aerial ball, and a slip by Paul Neil gave the Portrush the opportunity to get the first score of the game. Down came back strong and applied pressure; McKee picked up the ball and delivered a cross from left field which found Gavin Ringland running in at the back post to even the scores.

The second half saw both teams go on the attack; Down's Mark Elliott came close from 3 yards out but his shot didn't have the legs to cross the line. As down pressed forward, a Portrush counter attack saw a long Ball picked up on the right wing, with a quick cross, Portrush took the lead as their left wing swept the ball in at the back post.

Down threw everything at Portrush, while Elliott and Ringland both came close they couldn't find a way past the Portrush keeper, who had an excellent game. In the last seconds of play, Portrush again made use of the long ball, which found its way into the circle and got the slightest of touches from their forward's stick to make it three one to the visitors.

While Down will be disappointed with the result they can now turn their attention to the league where they continue to impress.