Last Saturday, Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club welcomed Ballynahinch to Crommelin Park for their first home fixture of the 08/09 season. Following a tough away trip to Ballycastle the previous week, Donaghadee were looking forward to playing on their home turf – especially as much of last season they were forced to play the majority of their home games in Newtownards, thanks to the Dee pitch being deemed unplayable for one reason or another for much of the year.
The spell of dry weather leading up to this game then was much appreciated by everyone at the club, though typically it was almost too dry, rendering the freshly rolled gravel very dusty and bumpy for both teams. Ballynahinch won the toss and elected to pass back first, and the dry pitch did little to help either team settle into any rhythm. The first half was a fairly even affair, with play swinging from end to end without anybody really grabbing the match by the scruff of the neck, though Dee keepr Alison McNeice did pull off several fine saves to keep the score level. Ballynahinch however managed to draw first blood within sight of half time with a well taken goal. They didn’t take long to add a second, which came in somewhat comical circumstances which led to most of the Dee defence collapsing in laughter. Centre back Jen McVeigh lost her skirt going into a tackle, and while the Dee girls saw the funny side, the Hinch forward continued her run and finished clinically, leaving the Dee keeper no chance. Despite persistance in midfield and up front, the Dee weren’t able to break the visitors’ defence, and Hinch added a third seconds before the final whistle.
The next game is away to Cooke on Saturday, and training continues every Wednesday at 7.30pm sharp. Players are reminded that this year’s fees are now due.