Donaghadee LHC 1st XI travelled to the Glade in Newtownabbey last Friday night to play second placed Mossley 1st XI. The Dee played Mossley in their first match of this season and were at the wrong end of a 6-2 defeat with the North Belfast side kicking off their own league campaign continuing their strong form from the previous year.
Last season was a similar story, with Donaghadee suffering badly at the hands of Mossley early in the season before acquitting themselves much better in the return leg. Hopefully something similar here then.
Donaghadee were determined to start the match more brightly than of late, where conceding early goals has become a worrying norm and, on the first whistle, they tried to spread the play wide. There were a couple of early chances for the Dee, with Katie Donnelly making one great break down the right for winger Carolyn Scott to get in a pinpoint cross to find Kerrie Turtle free in the middle of the Mossley circle. She was unlucky not to get enough on the ball to guide it goalward.
After absorbing the Donaghadee pressure, Mossley started to play some slick hockey to create their own chances and it wasn’t long before they made one count to go one up. Despite full backs Hannah McAdam and Claire Stewart marshalling the Dee defence, Mossley weren’t long in adding a second and it would have been easy to fear the worst for the scoreline from a Donaghadee perspective. The Dee gritted their collective teeth however and proved the point that there’s no better time to score than straight after they do. Ali Lawther was getting through a lot of work in midfield to break up the attacks coming in down the middle of the pitch, releasing left half Lisa Higgins on one occasion to get things moving forward again. Lisa, Kerry Savage and Ruth Kennedy combined well on the left – as they did all night – to work the ball high up the pitch. The cross came in and Carolyn was unmarked at the top of the circle. Her snap shot was a sweet strike low and hard to the Mossley’s keeper’s right and the Dee were back in it: 2-1 at half time.
Obviously inspired by their half time team talk, Mossley came out strongly in the second half and weren’t long in finding a gap to add a third to their tally. The Dee weren’t for going quietly though and a super run with the ball from Kerrie up front attracted several defenders, leaving Carolyn unmarked at the top of the circle. In a carbon copy shot into the same bottom corner, struck just as cleanly, the forward added her second of the night to bring the score back to within one goal.
Mossley kept applying the pressure with Lisa Higgins and Suzie Ferguson doing well to stifle the attacks coming down the flanks. Keeper Siobhan McAdam got in on the act too, coming off her line quickly to thwart a couple of Mossley chances. The home pressure eventually told however, with Mossley rounding off the scoring for the evening, leaving the final tally 4-2 to the home side.
Many thanks to Will McAdam for umpiring. A disappointing result but a much improved performance from the whole team, making next week’s home fixture against South Antrim one to look forward to. Pass back is at 1pm at Bangor Grammar followed by the 2nd XI playing Queen’s at 2pm also at the Grammar, before the Club Christmas Dinner in The Moat.