With a couple of good results and excellent team performances in the previous two matches, Donaghadee LHC set off for Newcastle last Saturday to play the Nomads in the latest Senior 4 league fixture. With a few players missing for this fixture, the team was down to the only the starting 11 this week – what a turn around for the girls to be lamenting the lack of subs!
The matches between these two sides are usually very closely fought affairs – with Newcastle scoring the winner with the final touch of the ball in this fixture last year a perfect example, but the home side has been in very good form so far this season, having not lost a game and currently sitting at the top of Senior 4. Donaghadee have been making their own progress up the table however too, and are comfortably in the top half thanks to three great wins against South Antrim, Newry and Instonians.
Whether it was the lateness of the pass back, the travelling, the skill of the home side – or a combination of all three – Donaghadee made heavy weather of this one. For the first 15 or 20 minutes of this match, Donaghadee played some really nice hockey; lots of neat interchanges, excellent support running and a couple of good chances to put themselves ahead but for some reason after this, they started to fade and began trying to hit the ball through Newcastle rather than playing round them. This suited the home side very well and the Dee found themselves penned in to their own half for much of the remainder of the game. The pressure told on three occasions in the first half for the home side, answered only by a great goal in open play from Katie Donnelly. Newcastle added another handful after the switch round leaving the final score 6-1 to the home side. A somewhat lethargic display that will hopefully now be out of the system as the team looks towards the first round Intermediate Cup match against Senior 3 side Parkview on Saturday at Bangor Academy.
DLHC 2nd XI
For the first time in round about 20 years, a Donaghadee 2nd XI took to the pitch last weekend. Readers of these match reports will know that numbers at training have been growing and the enthusiasm within the club is as good as it has been for many a year, with in excess of 20 members usually reporting for training on a Wednesday night. Those not regularly playing have expressed their interest in getting some match practice to give a focus to the nights on the training pitch. The committee has been working hard over the last month or so to try and secure a few friendlies and the first of these was scheduled for Sunday. Unfortunately the team pencilled in as opposition pulled out during the week but, rather than cancel the game, the 1st XI donned their change strip of white and provided the opponents for the much anticipated fixture. How wonderful to see enough numbers in DLHC colours for not just one but two teams – and even that was with several players missing!
In an entertaining and end-to-end game, the 1sts ran out 3-1 winners, but without a doubt the winner on the day was Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club and all the members who have made the current standing possible. With several more fixtures scheduled over the next couple of months – and hopefully with “proper” opposition for the 2nds, it’s a really exciting time for the Club. If you would like to be a part of DLHC, all new (and old!) faces, all ages, experience and abilities are more than welcome. From social hockey with half a dozen fixtures to challenging for a starting place every week in the league, there’s a spot for everyone. You can find more on Facebook/DonaghadeeLHC or at http://www.DonaghadeeLHC.co.uk or simply join us at training from 8.30-10pm every Wednesday night at Bangor Sportsplex.