In stark contrast to the appalling conditions the previous week, Donaghadee welcomed College Hill from Armagh to a Crommelin Park bathed in bright sunshine. While slightly nippy, it was a perfect day for hockey, and for a change, the pitch was in excellent condition too. Missing defensive stalwarts Jen McVeigh and Lisa Higgins was always going to make things tough at the back, but the club were pleased to welcome back Nicky Banford and Rachel Johnston, both playing their first game for the club. To be honest, they weren’t really needed in the first half, as Donaghadee pressed, probed and harried the College Hill defence. They were unable to convert, mind you, despite Carolyn Scott having a shot stopped on the line by a grateful stick, and Jackie McKee having a shot deflected off the keeper’s shoulder and on to the roof of the net. Somehow the score stayed 0-0 until half time. The line up remained the same until a short time into the second half, when coach-in-command, Ian, sent on new recruits Alison and Emily for a run. College Hill, who had been penned back, suddenly made a break after another Dee attack and managed to convert what had just about been their only chance until that point. Worse was to follow when they managed to make it 2-0. Jackie McKee was able to reduce the deficit to 2-1 with a calmly taken shot, and despite the Dee’s best efforts in the final ten minutes, they were unable to equalise. A disappointing result, and although coach Brian McKee, umpiring on Saturday, was frustrated, he did take positives from the performance: “It was frustrating that we weren’t able to convert any of the chances we had, but on the plus side, we are starting to win more penalty corners than last year, and the number of shots we had was also encouraging. We just need to practise our finishing a bit more!”
Next game is away to Newcastle on Saturday. Junior training continues apace on Wednesday evenings from 6.30-7.30pm before the seniors start at 7.30 sharp. The club is delighted to announce they have now finally got their website up and running. Although still a work in progress with new bits and pieces still being added, it’s a great place to check out the league table, match results and to keep up to date with what’s happening at the club. You’ll find it at www.donaghadeeLHC.co.uk.