14 Sept 14: DLHC Club notes and first match preview

Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club have been hard at work over the last couple of months in preparation for the 2014/15 season, undertaking a rigorous fitness boot camp with personal Noel Beattie, stick work on the astroturf at Bangor Grammar School and a number of friendlies with clubs both in the same leagues and above.

This year, as last, Donaghadee are entering two teams into league action, with the First XI in Senior 4 – where the girls will be looking to improve on last year’s bottom half finish – and the Seconds hoping to build on last year’s well fought victories in Junior 9. Despite losing a couple of players through work and other commitments, the Dee are delighted to welcome a number of new – and returning – faces who will be looking to make their mark when the season proper kicks off. It’s great to see Carmen van der Schyff, Natasha Cameron and Ruth Howell all back for their second spells at the club. Janice McVeigh joined at the end of last season and has impressed with her willingness to step into the keeper kit when required during the friendlies. New Dee player Paige Reilly has already shown her value in the preseason programme, turning in a good performance in defensive midfield beside Ali Lawther while Victoria Speers has shown her versatility playing in a number of positions on the pitch.

The First XI open their season at home to South Antrim this weekend. The last result between these two was a 2-2 friendly draw a few weeks ago, but with neither side putting out a full 1st XI, little will be read into this score line. Pass back for this match is 1pm on Saturday at Bangor Grammar.

The Seconds make the short hop to play near neighbours Bangor LHC 2nd XI in their season opener. With Bangor running out clear winners in the corresponding fixture last year – the Dee Seconds’ inaugural season in the league – Donaghadee will be keen to prove they learnt much from last season and will be looking to get their league campaign off to a good start. This match passes back at 7.45pm on Friday night at the Aurora.

Best of luck to all those in red and green this weekend and #monthedee!

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