Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club kicked off their preparations for the 14/15 season in style last weekend with 13 members of the club heading to Glasgow for a weekend of Commonwealth Games hockey. Setting off in the hired mini bus (affectionately nicknamed the Deemobile for the weekend) on the early ferry to Cairnryan, the Hockettes were delighted to arrive in conditions more akin to the Mediterranean – not least as the accommodation for the stay was a campsite at the grounds of Cartha Queens Park Rugby Club just outside the city centre. Organised by the excellent Camping Ninja, the tents were available for the duration of the Games, with DLHC occupying 3 for their stay.
The first hockey of the trip was a double session of women’s hockey on Friday night, with New Zealand against Trinidad and Tobago and Canada versus South Africa. The Black Sticks enjoyed a comprehensive 14-0 victory while the second match was an entertaining and closely fought match with South Africa beating Canada 2-1.
On Saturday afternoon two home nations were in action with Wales men taking on (and losing 7-1) to Australia – who won the men’s hockey World Cup last month (and what an awe-inspiring team they are) – followed by Scotland against India; again another loss for the UK team, but what a great atmosphere it was thanks to the home crowd!
The campsite was ideally positioned for the men’s and women’s marathons which took place on Sunday morning, with the course passing the front gate of the rugby club, and the Dee were vocal in support of Northern Irish runner Gladys Ganiel, who ultimately finished 12th but in her second fastest ever time.
The weekend was rounded off in fabulous fashion when gold medal winning judo players Kimberley and Louise Renicks appeared at Cartha Queens Park, their home rugby club, fresh from their victories the previous day, as the Dee were packing up to head home – the Hockettes fortunate enough to get their picture taken with younger sister Kimberley and her gold medal.
There is no doubt that all the Dee players gained a fantastic insight into hockey played at the highest level, with many of the skills and tricks seen over the weekend discussed at length over a drink or two, with lots of pledges to try out some of the more audacious stuff on the training pitch when preseason stick work starts again on 13th August!
While we can’t offer international level hockey, we are always on the lookout for new players who would like to be part of one of the most social and fun clubs in the North Down/Ards area, so all new faces will be most welcome at our preseason fitness boot camp, currently on Wednesday evenings from 7-8pm at Crommelin Park, Donaghadee and our stick sessions which will begin on Wednesday 13th August at Bangor Grammar School. Contact the club for more details on firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook and Twitter.