Senior League 4: Donaghadee LHC 1XI 0-0 Coleraine LHC
Donaghadee Ladies 1st XI were looking to bounce back from their disappointing defeat of the previous week against Instonians when Coleraine travelled to Bangor to play in the latest 2013/14 league fixture last Saturday. With a strong team available for selection, coach Brian McKee and 1st XI Captain Suzie Ferguson were confident that the girls would be eager to put last week’s result behind them. The Dee started well, immediately putting the visitors under pressure with some slick interplay from the forwards creating a great chance to go one up, but the ball passed agonisingly close to the outside of the right hand post with no Donaghadee stick able to turn it in past the Coleraine keeper.
Coleraine started to come much more into the game as the half wore on and the match was evenly contested in the middle of the pitch. Donaghadee’s defence of Nina Wells, Claire Stewart, Suzie Ferguson and Lisa Higgins did need to be on their toes to keep the Coleraine attacks outside the circle, with keeper Siobhan McAdam called in to action at least once to clear the ball to safety. The midfield trio of Kerry Savage, Katie Donnelly and Ali Lawther were working well as a unit to provide the Dee forwards Carolyn Scott, Kerrie Turtle and Ruth Kennedy with the penetration they needed into the Coleraine circle, with the Dee notching up more attacking opportunities than their North Coast counterparts, but they were unable to make them count on the day, with the match finishing a 0-0 draw. Next up for the Firsts is a trip to Owls for a first round Cup match on Saturday.
Junior League 9: Donaghadee LHC 2XI 2-0 Malone LHC
After a rather hefty defeat last week the Donaghadee 2XI took to the field to face mid-table Malone. The team were eager to put the loss behind them and move onwards and hopefully upwards. The match started quickly with the Dee breaking through the Malone defence for what they hoped would be a quick lead but the visitors were not giving the Dee any chance to get a shot on target. Malone took possession and kept the play up in their attacking half of pitch. The few shots they did get were quickly saved and posed no problem for keeper Tina Sterling. Rattled by the amount of possession Malone seemed to have the Dee dug deeper and a quick pass from Lisa Alexander in defence found Leona Wells in the centre of the field. She was able to carry it forward to centre forward Maura Hennessey who pushed it towards to goal only to be denied by the Malone keeper. Luckily left wing Karen Fegan was there for the rebound and an accurate hit from her meant this time the keeper didn’t have a chance. For the first time this season the Dee were going into the half time break in the lead.
Eager to hold on to the lead and with some direction from coach Brian McKee they entered the second half determined to keep their goal advantage. With the weather taking a turn for the worse at the start of the second half, the action was end to end with Malone eager to equal the score line but Defenders Alex McVeigh and Hannah McAdam were not giving the Malone attackers much of a chance. A clearance from Alex to midfielder Melissa Rollo gave the Dee the break they needed; working the ball out wide Melissa quickly passed the ball to Deborah Gilmour who made it past two of the Malone defence to the circle – her shot was denied but that gave Emily Morris a chance on the rebound. She also was denied but again the rebound found a Dee stick – this time Maura made no mistake and she was delighted to hit the backboard.
With Donaghadee now 2 goals ahead, Malone stepped it up but the home side were not getting complacent; even when they had 4 penalty corners awarded against them, Donaghadee cleared every time. With 4 minutes to go a pass from the Dee defence found Maura on her own in the centre of the field and, eager to make it 3, she broke out and carried the ball towards the goal. She was able to evade the tackle of one defender but the Malone sweeper made sure she didn’t get a chance to shoot. The Dee held strong and, with the sounding of the final whistle, the 2nds were overjoyed to celebrate winning their first league match. It was a great performance from all the team including an injured Tegan Greer. Hopefully this is a new beginning and they can carry on this form when they welcome Coleraine to Bangor Grammar on Saturday 2nd Nov.
Many thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring, Brian for coaching duties and Will McAdam for stats in both games. More information about the club can be found at http://www.donaghadeelhc.co.uk, on Facebook/donaghadeelhc, on Twitter @donaghadeelhc or email firstname.lastname@example.org