Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club were back at Bangor Academy last Saturday in the latest of the league fixtures in Senior League 4 after their good win away to South Antrim the previous weekend. This weekend’s opponents were near neighbours Holywood – always a difficult team to beat, with Donaghadee having come away with very little in previous years against their local rivals. Holywood spent last season in Senior 3 so this weekend’s encounter was going to be anything but easy.
The match passed back in unseasonably warm and sunny weather, with Donaghadee winning the toss. The first part of the opening half was fairly evenly matched with both teams feeling their way into the match, but Holywood soon started to exert a fair amount of pressure on the Donaghadee defence. The Dee held firm however and were doing a good job of clearing their lines, working the ball out to ever willing runners in the midfield and forward players. One of these runners was Kerry Savage, back playing for the Dee this season after studying in Scotland, who has really made an impact since her return – including scoring last week against newly-promoted South Antrim. Somewhat against the run of play in what was a hitherto rare foray into the opponents’ final 25, the ball was worked down the right and a crisp pass found Kerry tight on the back line. From what was a pretty improbable angle, she managed to squeeze the ball between post and keeper to put the Dee 1-0 to the good. It didn’t take long for Holywood to respond unfortunately and just before half time in a crowded home circle, the ball was crashed in from Holywood’s left, found a passing stick and snuck in at the far post. 1-1 at half time and everything to play for for both sides.
Despite their best efforts in trying to maintain their shape and keep the passing moves going, Donaghadee began to buckle under the constant pressure from the visitors who added 3 unanswered goals to their tally in the second half, leaving the Dee with no reward for their toil. This victory puts Holywood early leaders of Senior 4 and with other results from teams in the bottom half of the league not quite going the Dee’s way, sees Donaghadee sitting in 8th position. Next week should be an interesting game, with Newry – sitting directly above the Dee on goal difference only in the table – coming to Bangor for Donaghadee’s next home game. Many thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring and to Bow Bells, Donaghadee for sponsoring this week’s match ball.
Friday 12th October, sees the culmination of DLHC’s Junior sessions for this season with the Dee girls taking part in a Junior Tournament organised by DLHC in conjunction with Ulster Hockey. Girls’ teams from Bangor, Ards, North Down and Knock will all compete in the tournament at Bangor Sportsplex from 7.30-9.30pm and all supporters and friends of DLHC are encouraged to come and support the future stars of the club! All the info and more can be found at http://www.donaghadeelhc.co.uk
or on Facebook.com/donaghadeeLHC.