DLHC 1XI v South Antrim: W4-1
Unusual weather for hockey with the sun shining brightly at Bangor Grammar as South Antrim got things underway just after 1pm. Both teams started well, with South perhaps shading things through the early stages, keeping the Dee midfield and defence under a lot of early pressure. Some excellent tackling by Lisa Higgins, Claire Stewart and Susie Ferguson reduced them to just 3 shots, but with 2 excellent saves from Siobhan McAdam in the Dee goal and a shot wide all was still level as the Dee countered down both flanks through Ruth Kennedy and Carolyn Scott without success.
The game sparked into life in the 22nd minute with the award of a Penalty Stroke as keeper Siobhan saved from a South forward as the two collided. The end result was the opening score of the game, 1-0 to South Antrim.
Rather than letting this get them down, the Dee girls drove forward en masse and totally dominated possession. In midfield Ali Lawther and Paige Reilly mopped up most of South’s attempts at advancing and with quick balls getting forward through Kerry Kennedy and Kerry Savage, Dee soon found the shot count mounting as Kerrie Turtle, Carolyn Scott and Tasha Paxton all got in on the act. Two penalty corners resulted in shots but no goals and there was an air of expectation from the Donaghadee supporters as half time approached. Finally Kerry Kennedy made a great break into the circle and she unleashed an unstoppable shot in to the South goal to equalise with just a minute before the interval.
After an initial attack from South Antrim was thwarted by the Dee defence the early pattern of the second half soon followed that of the previous ten minutes. Ali Lawther and Kerry Kennedy started to really dominate in midfield and fed balls forward to Ruth, Maura and Tasha as the Dee kept up the pace. All the pressure had to tell and after 42 minutes a driving run into the circle and another great shot from Kerry Kennedy made it 2-1 to the Dee.
A clash with a South player ended Lisa’s afternoon early as she came off for treatment which caused a bit of reorganisation on the pitch, but the girls coped well and continued their high tempo game. With attacks coming from all over the pitch it seemed that more goals must come. South also kept up their own game and managed a few counter attacks but the Dee defended well and Siobhan kept them out when they did get in on goal. An attack down the right from Kerry Savage fed Carolyn who fired a shot in on goal for Kerrie Turtle to slide over the line and make it 3-1 with just over ten minutes to play. Four minutes later a similar tap in, this time for Maura Hennessy ended the scoring at 4-1 to the Dee.
DLHC 2XI v Bangor: L4-0
Donaghadee LHC 2XI kicked the 2014/15 season off last Friday night with their first league game in Junior 9 against Bangor Seconds. Bangor set a fast pace from the whistle and had the Dee on the back foot, scoring the first goal of the match from a penalty corner just minutes in. Dee reset and enjoyed some good play between left wing Emily Morris and left midfield Jan Morrow. This was quickly broken down by Bangor and they stormed through to make several strikes at goal but Donaghadee’s new keeper Janice McVeigh was quick defend her goal.
Donaghadee’s deep defensive players Tori Rollo and Lisa Alexander worked in unison to break down the home team’s attacking play but unfortunately on one such occasion the ball hit a Dee foot in the circle resulting in another penalty corner for Bangor. A straight shot from the top of the circle saw Bangor increase their lead to 2-0. From the restart, Donaghadee pushed into the Bangor circle and right wing Karen had a cracking shot at goal, only for it to fire wide.
Bangor were quick to take the hit out and work the ball upfield back into the Dee circle. Again, the ball struck a Dee foot and, again, Bangor scored from the resulting penalty corner. making the score 3-0 at half time. The second half was end to end stuff, with defenders Melissa Rollo and Hannah McAdam working seamlessly together to break down and block play coming down the left hand side. A strong clearance from Hannah was received by Emily in Bangor’s circle and she didn’t hesitate at taking her shot at goal. Dee were unfortunately denied the goal their hard work deserved and Bangor responded by burying their 4th and final goal in the back of the Dee net.
Many thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring both DLHC games this weekend and a shout out to all the supporters who made their presence felt at both games.
Next match for DLHC 1XI is away to Ballynahinch next week and the 2XI are away to North Down 5ths. Mon the Dee!