In what turned out to be, thanks to the latest withdrawal from the league of College Hill LHC, Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s last league fixture of the 11/12 season, the Dee welcomed Newcastle Nomads to Crommelin Park on Saturday. When the Dee travelled to Newcastle earlier in the season, the scoreline was level right up until the last second of the game – with Newcastle frustrating Donaghadee by scoring with the final touch of the match to win 2-1.
Since then however, Donaghadee have put together a decent run of results, going into this match with confidence boosted thanks to 3-0 and 4-0 wins over Newry and Ballynahinch respectively. This confidence was in evidence as the Dee put the visitors under considerable pressure in the early stages of the match, but without managing to convert the chances. Newcastle made the girls in red pay when strong running from midfield saw a breakaway score for the visitors. The Donaghadee heads remained high however and some further pressure on the Newcastle circle resulted in a penalty corner. In a carbon copy of her goal against Ballynahinch a couple of weeks ago, Ali Lawther made no mistake when the ball was slipped to her.
After the turn around, Newcastle managed to wriggle their way through again and it was 2-1 and a real case of deja vu. Again Donaghadee kept their heads up and continued to play some neat hockey with much of the play coming from the Dee left. One such break saw right wing Carolyn Scott cutting in down the middle but her shot skewed well wide under pressure from the keeper. She managed to atone moments later however when an almost identical ball found her through again. This time, no mistake – 2-2.
Both sides had chances to take the three points, but both defences held firm and a draw was probably a fair result all things considered. Captain Carolyn Scott praised her team, “After a tough middle section of the season when the points were hard to come by, everyone in the team has played their part in recent weeks to get 3 really good results and it finishes the season on a good note for us. To have 15 players available for the final game of the season is so encouraging and it feels like the club is definitely moving in the right direction. We’ve got lots of ideas and plans for next season – both on and off the pitch – and it’s an exciting time for the club. We’re looking forward to the 12/13 season already!” Many thanks to Gina McFall for umpiring. The match ball this week was sponsored by Herron’s Furniture.
The next event for the club is the Memorabilia Meeting on Wednesday 28th March in Donaghadee Sailing Club from 7.30pm as the club pieces together its history. If you, or anyone you know, is an ex player of DLHC, you are more than welcome to come along for a yarn, reminiscences and a chance to meet members of the club from different eras. If you have any old photographs, match reports or other memorabilia we would love to see it.