25/10/14 DLHC 1XI v Saintfield and DLHC 2XI v Coleraine

Intermediate Cup Round 1: DLHC 1st XI 0-2 Saintfield LHC 1st XI
Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1st XI took a break from league action last weekend when they welcomed Saintfield LHC’s 1st XI to Bangor Grammar for the first round of the Intermediate Cup. Saintfield are currently sitting mid-table in Senior 3, compared with Donaghadee’s Senior 4 and, with the Dee performing well so far in the league, this would be a good test against a higher league team.

Kerry Kennedy and Carolyn Scott both returned after being unavailable the previous week and Donaghadee started this match brightly, both these players involved in early probes down the right. Saintfield’s defence however were a match for the task, setting up their midfielders for attacks of their own with both teams trying to impose their game on the opponents. Ali Lawther and Kerry Savage worked hard to protect the Dee defence of Paige Reilly, Claire Stewart, Suzie Ferguson and Lisa Higgins and collectively they limited Saintfield to only a few half chances. With Donaghadee working the ball wide through Ruth Kennedy and Carolyn, Kerrie Turtle and Maura Hennessey were doing their best to make the break through at the other end.

Coming up to half time – and somewhat against the run of play – a Saintfield forward broke through the middle of the pitch and unleashed a superb shot into the roof of Siobhan McAdam’s goal; Siobhan getting the fingertips of her gloved hand to the ball, but just not enough to deflect the ball over the crossbar.

Despite being a goal down, Donaghadee were holding their own and indeed could – and should – have equalised on one or more occasions in the second half, with a number of shots either saved by the Saintfield keeper or going wide. With Donaghadee committed to finding the equaliser, the game became very open and Saintfield took advantage of a numerical advantage in the Dee 25 to add their second goal of the game. While the final score was 2-0 to the visitors, Donaghadee played very well against a team in a higher league and can certainly take heart from this performance as they head to Newry next week to see if they can continue their unbeaten league form. Many thanks to Brian for umpiring and best of luck to Saintfield in the next round of the Cup.

Junior 9: Coleraine 3rd XI 2-0 DLHC 2nd XI
With Donaghadee 2nd XI having no match to play the previous weekend the team made the long journey to the lovely newly laid pitch at Coleraine keen to get the match underway.  Both teams started the match strongly with plenty of attacking play from the two sides. The Dee midfield trio of Natasha Cameron, Carmen Van Der Schyff and Victoria Speers worked hard throughout the game trying to create openings to feed the ball through to the forwards, however it was Coleraine who made the first attempts at goal. Fullbacks Tori Rollo and Lisa Alexander made some great clearances which were quickly picked up by Melissa Rollo on the left and Amy Long on the right who then fed the ball up the wings. When the ball did manage on occasion to touch a Dee player’s foot in the circle earning Coleraine penalty corners, Donaghadee’s well rehearsed defensive structure kept the ball out of the net along with some sterling work and great saves by keeper Janice McVeigh. Further attacking play by Coleraine led to a nicely struck ball just inside the circle and, due to a slight deflection off a Dee stick, the ball slipped past Janice into the net.

With a rousing team talk at half time and a couple of positional changes, the Dee once again came out fighting in the second half, albeit at times reduced to playing with 10 due to injuries and niggling illnesses and without the luxury of a sub. Jan Morrow and Karen Fegan worked well together up front leading to Karen making a beautiful strike at goal but the ball just inched past the outside of the post. Coleraine set up play again quickly earning themselves a penalty corner at the other end. Victoria Speers now doing first runner made a lovely tackle clearing the ball to thwart their attempt. Then when a loose ball was struck well by a Coleraine player into the Dee circle it found the slightest of touches from a teammate’s stick, awarding Coleraine their second goal.Another attack from Coleraine resulted in a save from Janice taking some of the speed off the ball but, as it travelled on towards its target behind her and looked like it was going over the line, Amy made a fabulous clearance off the line stopping the home side from going 3-0 up.

Not giving up Donaghadee fought back and enjoyed much of the possession in the last 10 minutes. Tori fed a side line ball to right wing Emily Morris who made a run up the line finding Jan in the circle but the Coleraine defence were quick to clear the ball. Natasha Cameron made a great run on the left to have a shot at goal but was denied the effort by the Coleraine keeper. On the final whistle Donaghadee were awarded a penalty corner and the 10 outfield players crowded the circle. The initial strike by Melissa found a Coleraine foot and so another penalty corner was awarded which was unfortunately cleared by Coleraine. The Dee had a great end to the match so will try to carry that momentum forward to next week’s game against Ulster Elks. Many thanks to Mike Smyth for travelling with the team to umpire.

Donaghadee to Dublin Virtual Cycle Fundraiser
Last Sunday members of the club took part in a virtual cycle from Donaghadee to Dublin on static bikes in Bloomfields. We are delighted to report that not only did the girls complete the 123 mile journey, but over £250 was raised for club funds. Many thanks to all who donated to help the girls on their way!

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