Donaghadee LHC v Ballynahinch LHC (H) 20/11/10
After bagging maximum points from their last two games, the mood in Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club has been good over the last week, and they were very much looking forward to playing Ballynahinch at Crommelin Park last Saturday (20th November), a team sitting mid table and 4 places above the home side. With the luxury of a sub this week, captain Jen McVeigh had her strongest team available. Donaghadee knew that this would be a close game, but having recorded one of their few victories against this Hinch side away last year on a bog of a pitch, they knew a win was well within their grasp.
Both teams started brightly with most of the action happening in a tight and packed midfield. Neither keeper was really called on much in the first half, but when Dee keeper Teagan Greer – surely one of the finds of the season – was needed, she proved herself alert and equal to any shot that Ballynahinch took at her goal. Hinch did however capitalise on some slack Dee defending when a free hit was awarded in their defensive 25, and it was 1-0 in the blink of an eye.
The half time team talk from coach Brian McKee was to try and spread the ball to the wings, and sure enough Carolyn Scott found some joy to cross for Kerrie Turtle for the forward to guide the ball home at the back post to equalise, bringing her tally to 5 for the season. With things all square and the Dee defence of Nina and Jen tightening things up beautifully at the back, the two half backs youngsters Natasha Cameron and Ali Gordon were tucking in and dealing very well with any Hinch threat from the wings.
With about three quarters of the match gone, schoolgirl Ali Gordon was dealing with one such attack from a Hinch midfielder, channeling her attacker down the right wing and out of trouble when a moment of sheer madness took place. The Ballynahinch player took exception to Ali’s – perfectly legal according to the umpire – harrying and raised her stick, smashing it across the nose of the Dee player which connected with a sickening crunch that was audible from the far side of the pitch. A lengthy delay ensued while several of the Dee players tried to administer help to the poleaxed youngster and stem the flow of blood from the wound before helping her to the car where she was taken to hospital. The umpires convened, and both were in total agreement that it had been a deliberate act by the Ballynahinch player, and that it was a straight red card offence. There was some discussion between the shocked Dee players as to whether to carry on, as with more than three quarters having been played, the 1-1 result would have stood, but Jen made the call to finish the match. The final result remained 1-1, but that scoreline was very much secondary in every Dee player’s thoughts, as they anxiously awaited news of Ali.
Ali sustained a wound on her nose which required 6 stitches, has an injury to her sinus, and the tip of her nose may be broken, though this won’t be known until the swelling goes down. Everyone at the club would like to pass on their love and thoughts to both Ali and her family, and are hoping for a speedy recovery for this talented young player. There is no place on a hockey pitch for such shocking and appalling behaviour, and the offence has been passed on to the UHU to take whatever action is required.
On a much happier note, the club would like to pass on their congratulations to winger Connie Singleton and family on the birth of baby Robbie, born a few weeks ago.
The Dee play Bangor tomorrow night (Friday) at Bangor Sportsplex in the latest installment of the league programme. For more information on the club, to see the league table, get more info on the players and on the fundraising ballot the club is currently running, please visit www.donaghadeelhc.co.uk