Senior League 4: Cooke LHC 2-1 Donaghadee LHC 1st XI
Following their defeat in the first round of the Intermediate Cup against Senior 3 opposition, Owls Ladies, Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1st XI were back in league action last Saturday when they travelled to Shaw’s Bridge to play Cooke in the latest round of the Senior 4 League programme. With Cooke sitting one point below the Dee in the table, this would have been a very handy one to win to give a little breathing space at almost the halfway point of the 13/14 season.
As has been the case on several occasions this season, Donaghadee were quick out of the blocks when the match got underway, forcing the home team into retreat as they passed the ball quickly. Good work from the Dee forwards in the Cooke circle forced an early penalty corner and with Ali Lawther’s shot heading goalwards anyway, it was tipped over the line by Kerrie Turtle lurking on the post. Another one for the TMO to decide at the end of the season but for now, Ali’s name is recorded as the scorer as she, Kerrie and Carolyn sit atop the Firsts’ goalscoring charts on 3 apiece.
The pitch was in considerably better condition than the Dee’s last outing to Shaw’s Bridge when they played on a pitch so rain sodden the ball was going nowhere fast, and this allowed both teams to play attacking hockey. Just before half time, Cooke were next to register on the score sheet after a home forward burst through the centre, wrongfooting the Dee defence and finishing clinically.
The second half proceeded in much the same manner, with both sides creating chances to go ahead. Unfortunately for the Dee, it was Cooke who gained the upper hand when their speedy right winger scored from an impossibly tight angle. Donaghadee did have their chances with shots going wide and one even hitting the post but none were converted, leaving the girls to reflect on what has been a fairly unhappy run of results recently. Next action for the 1st XI is an away trip to Ballynahinch on 23rd November. Many thanks to Brian for the coaching and Mike for the umpiring.
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Minor Cup Rd 1: Malone LHC 6-0 Donaghadee LHC 2nd XI
On Saturday Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club 2nd XI travelled to Pirrie Park in Belfast to face Malone in the first round of the Minor Cup. The Dee girls were slightly apprehensive as the opposition play their matches on a gravel pitch – a surface on which some of the younger members of the team have never played and others haven’t played on for a number of years, so they knew this was not going to be an easy match.
From pass back Malone were out for a win; having lost to the Dee in the league two weeks previously they clearly did not want a repeat performance. Their attack was very strong from the start which didn’t give the Dee defence of Amy Long, Lisa Alexander, Teegan Greer and Alex McVeigh much of chance to gain any sort of composure on the ball. Malone were very quick at intercepting and Donaghadee were finding that the passing was very slow on the unfamiliar surface. The Dee were also having trouble keeping the ball under control on the gravel but a break up the middle of the field by Leona Wells gave them their first real chance. Leona was able to pass the ball out to the right where midfielder Deborah Gilmour was waiting. Deborah found an unmarked Emily Morris who was ready out wide for the pass. As Emily entered the circle two of the Malone defenders were quick to put pressure on her forcing the ball out of play, but in the process Donaghadee were awarded a short corner; a well saved strike by Hannah McAdam gave Malone their chance to regain possession, and this quickly executed break found an unmarked player up on the Donaghadee goal, giving Malone the chance they needed to take the lead. This gave them extra drive and the remainder of the first half saw the Dee defence under extreme pressure. Goalkeeper Tina Sterling once again gave a stellar performance, denying the Malone strikers on numerous occasions, but unfortunately from a long corner Malone got their second goal.
After the break Donaghadee made a few changes, bringing on Jan Morrow to join the midfield of Deborah and Chloe Noble and, making her debut for the Dee, Kelly McDowell. Quickly proving an asset to the team Kelly was swift to move the ball up the left side of the field, with close support from forward Karen Fegan. The duo were quick to infiltrate the circle, hoping to pull back a goal but they were denied by the Malone keeper. Again Malone caught the Dee on the break and were able to sneak in a third goal. The Dee defence didn’t get a chance to relax and were continuously inundated with attacks from Malone. The left side of the defence of Amy and Lisa took the brunt of attacks but the whole team did well to fight to the end with Teegan giving plenty of good passes to the midfield and forwards, but as much as they tried they couldn’t break through the home defence. As everyone began to tire from the continuous pressure exerted by the home side, Malone took advantage and were able to add to their goal tally to make the final score 6-0 at the final whistle.
A disappointing result for the 2nd XI but now they can concentrate on their league campaign and wish Malone all the best in the remainder of their cup matches. The Second XI are next in action on Friday night, pass back 8.15pm against Instonians at Shaw’s Bridge.
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And finally… Everyone at DLHC would like to pass on their congratulations to Kerry Kennedy and husband JJ on the birth of their baby daughter – we look forward to having young Miss Kennedy on the players’ roster at some stage in the future!