Donaghadee LHC were off on their travels last weekend when they headed for the north coast to play Ballycastle. On what turned out to be a gorgeous day, Donaghadee hopped on their party bus without a win thus far in the league but hopes were high as Ballycastle have struggled to field a team on several occasions already this season, and the Dee girls felt this would be as good an opportunity as any to increase the points tally.
Donaghadee travelled with a full squad plus a few old faces for company – how great to have Avril Fulton, Jill Dennison and Laura Gibson along for the ride. Right from the first whistle Donaghadee got down to business and the whole team were playing for each other, with really good support and off the ball running and it wasn’t long before the first goal came. With the Dee forwards always threatening, Kerrie Turtle finished off a superb solo run with a shot which she neatly slotted inside the post. The second wasn’t long in coming, with Leona Wells – who had a brilliant game in midfield – and Carolyn Scott combining well on the right before the cross came in and found Kerrie in the circle. She made no mistake – 2-0 to the Dee.
Ballycastle did threaten a couple of times with a couple of strong runners, but Nina Wells and Jen McVeigh were mopping everything up at the back, with Suzie Ferguson and Lisa Higgins on the flanks providing additional cover. Carmen van der Schyff put in her usual hard-working shirt on the left wing, with Natasha Cameron playing just behind her in the midfield role. Natasha has been growing in confidence with every game in midfield and she was finding a fair bit of space – getting forward in this game more than she has done in recent matches, and it paid off when she managed to poke the ball home after a melee in the Ballycastle circle. 3-0 to the Dee. Ballycastle were still making a fist of things though and were refusing to roll over, and they duly made it 3-1 just before half time when Donaghadee maybe took the foot off the pedal a little bit.
After the turn around, Donaghadee were determined not to leave the north coast without the 3 points, and this determination was encapsulated not least by Ali Lawther who had a great game in the centre of midfield, holding when necessary, and getting forward when she could. It was fantastic to welcome back Ruth Kennedy after a number of years away from the club, and she had a superb game when she came on at left wing, turning her marker inside out numerous times and creating a number of chances. It was from one of these mazy runs which released Kerrie Turtle in the circle, and it was brilliant to see Kerrie getting her hat-trick.
With Jen suffering the effects of a heavy head cold, Siobhan McAdam came on at the back and was on hand to make a couple of timely interventions to thwart late Ballycastle attacks, and provide keeper Teegan Greer with the cover required. The final score was 4-1 to Donaghadee and this will serve as a timely confidence booster as the girls are next in Cup action against Grosvenor on Friday night. Many thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring.
Tickets are now on sale for the annual Table Quiz which is happening on Friday 18th November in Donaghadee Rubgy Club. Space is strictly limited, so please speak to any club member to secure your tickets. Further info on this, and on the club in general can be found at http://www.DonaghadeeLHC.co.uk and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DonaghadeeLHC.