There was plenty of action planned for members of Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club last weekend, with the Night at the Races fundraiser on Friday night, a league match on Saturday and the second 1st XI v 2nd XI on Sunday afternoon. The fun kicked off with the annual fundraising event which, over the last number of years, has been a most successful and enjoyable table quiz. For something a little bit different this year, the club decided to try their hand at horse racing so, saddled up and raring to go, the enthusiastic crowd gathered in the rugby club to cheer on their nags. Each club member had been given a number of horses to sell prior to the night, so local interest was high with great expectations of discovering a successor to Monty’s Pass.
It’s doubtful whether expectation met reality however, with every horse seemingly coming in before the one mentioned on the betting slip clutched in various hopeful fists. Undeterred, the spectators cheered, hollered, whooped, threw money at the donkey at the back with 3 legs and occasionally, just occasionally, that donkey repaid the favour and cantered his way gracefully past the finishing post. Thanks to various local businesses (The Yachtsman, Stephen Bailie Estate Agents, Regency Cars, Stanley Woods and Co accountants, Pearlow Developments, U Hire, Ards Fireplaces and Northland Developments) for sponsoring races, to the outfits and individuals who supplied ballot prizes (Grace Neill’s, Donaghadee Rugby Club, Yankee Candle, Ards Fireplaces, Regency Cars, Wrights Skips, Mr and Mrs Gordon and Mr and Mrs Kerr) and to the huge generosity of those who took part on the night, £1400 was raised for much needed club funds. This far surpasses any amount raised in recent years and DLHC would like to pass on their heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported the event.
Buoyed by the success of the event the previous evening, the team was looking forward to heading to Craigavon to play College Hill, a team two places below the Dee in the table prior to this weekend but, with the Co Armagh side having been deducted two points for conceding as many games already this season, there actually wasn’t much between the two teams in terms of actual matches played. How this game would have played out, we’ll never know, as a phone call from the home side to the Dee on Saturday morning stopped the red and green before they’d even set off. Again, College Hill were struggling for numbers and an umpire and, as such, were phoning to forfeit the game. They made a tentative enquiry as to whether they could reschedule the game for a few weeks time and travel to Donaghadee, but it is unlikely that the Dee will be able to secure a pitch, sharing as they do with several other local teams. The three points from this ‘win’ will see the Dee back up to 5th in the table – a great spot to be in as we approach the mid point of the season. The next match is on Saturday at home at Bangor Academy against Ballynahinch, pass back 1.30pm. All support most welcome, especially as the team is planning on showshall shirts and sammiches after the match – the more the merrier!
In the second instalment of DLHC’s developing 2nd XI, the club turned out two teams last Sunday for a friendly match. As with the match a couple of weeks ago, the committee had been hopeful of securing official opposition but in the absence of an outside team, half the DLHC players donned white with the other half in traditional red. With some players in unfamiliar positions and the whites not having a goalkeeper, it was end to end stuff with both sides having good chances to take the lead. The final score was 5-4 to the reds with everyone having enjoyed stretching the legs and getting a run out. The next game for the 2nds is on Sunday 9th December at Bangor Sportsplex.
Off the pitch, DLHC is delighted to be taking part in the 5k Santa Fun Run organised by Donaghadee Commerce and Development Group scheduled for Sunday 2nd December along a route round the Commons and through the town. The girls will be running in full Santa suits in aid of the MRI Scanner appeal for the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children along with others also running for good causes – it should be some spectacle! Participants from DLHC are reminded that entry forms and £10 entry fee should be returned to John Caldwell before 23rd November and that sponsorship forms are available from Carolyn.