After a tough opening couple of games and a week off, Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club was back in action last Saturday when they welcomed Instonians to Crommelin Park. The girls have been fortunate enough to secure the coaching expertise of Brian McKee, formerly of Bangor Mens Hockey Club, and they have been working hard on drills and tactics in the last few weeks in training. After Brian had spoken to each member of the team individually, the girls took to the field with a clear idea of how they wanted to play the game.
After several opening exchanges, Instonians drew first blood when the Donaghadee defence was picked apart by a simple cross to the back post. The unmarked left wing gratefully seized on the chance and slotted the ball home, giving Laura Gibson in goal no chance. Donaghadee were very quick to respond however, with some route one hockey. A hit out from the back taken by Nicky Banford found Carolyn Scott round the halfway line. Accelerating forward, she dodged the defender in her path and got to the edge of the circle where she was quickly surrounded by several other defenders. Somehow she managed to get the shot away, where it snuck past the keeper’s left hand side. Game on.
After half time, an almost carbon copy of Inst’s first goal undid Donaghadee again, but once more, the Dee responded almost immediately. Brian will have been delighted with the Dee’s second goal, as it came straight from the training ground. A right wing cross from Carolyn Scott found new girl Connie Singleton unmarked at Inst’s back post. With a deft reverse stick flick, she skilfully beat the visitors’ keeper. Donaghadee then took the lead for the first time in the match when a scramble in the Inst circle saw Connie grab her second of the day. Donaghadee then sat back to try and protect their lead, which proved to be costly, as Instonians not only equalised to make the score 3-3, but put another one in for good measure. Final score 4-3.
Although the girls were disappointed not to have taken anything from the game, coach Brian was generally pleased with the performance and saw positives in the girls’ play. Thanks to Alfie Balfour for umpiring. The next game is away to Holywood, with fitness training on Monday nights at 7pm and skills training at 7.15 on Wednesdays. Thanks to our sponsors Cafe Manor and Heathview Equestrian for their continued support.