Senior League 4: South Antrim P-P DLHC 1XI
Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI set off for Friends School, Lisburn last Friday night on what turned out to be a bitterly cold evening. Even as both teams warmed up, the pitch was starting to turn white with frost, with the temperature hovering just above freezing. There were lively opening exchanges with both teams testing the other’s defence in what looked to be a promising open game of hockey, but with several players from both teams slipping on the ever-cooling surface within the first fifteen minutes, the two umpires and captains convened in the centre of the pitch and made the decision to postpone the fixture to a date when the pitch is considered playable.
In the final game before the Christmas break, the Firsts are at home to Ballynahinch on Saturday, pass back 1pm at Bangor Grammar before both teams head to The Moat for the club’s Christmas dinner that evening.
Minor Cup Round 2: Elks 4-0 DLHC 2XI
Last Saturday Donaghadee 2XI looked forward to finally getting back to match action following several weeks of cancelled or conceded games. They travelled to Jordanstown to play the Ulster Elks 4XI in the second round of the Minor Cup and although they were aware the match would be difficult as the Elks currently sit well up the league table in the league above Donaghadee, the players were keen to enjoy a competitive match.
Play started with the Elks predictably the more dominant team and it wasn’t long before they had worked the ball into the Dee circle and earned themselves a penalty corner. The strong Dee defence of Lisa Alexander, Tori Rollo, Lisa Higgins and Amy Long were quick to clear the ball from the circle, but it wasn’t long before the Elks were penetrating the circle again. Keeper Janice McVeigh made some impressive saves throughout the course of the match, and the defenders continued to clear the ball away from danger to the midfield trio of Natasha Cameron, Deborah Gilmore and Victoria Speers who worked hard to keep the pressure off the Donaghadee defence.
However the Ulster Elks’ continued pressure eventually earned the break they were after and they slotted the ball past Janice to take the lead, much to the delight of their large group of spectators. Unfortunately then a ball struck Amy hard on the knee so she was forced to take a break to recover and, with the Dee team down to 10 players, the Elks won another penalty corner from which they scored just before half time to add another to their tally.
After the break the Dee came back fighting and held more possession than in the previous half. All three Dee forwards Karen Fegan, Jan Morrow and Emily Morris enjoyed shots at goal, but they either just passed wide of the net or were saved by the Elks keeper. With the Elks team having the luxury of subs they were able to keep their high tempo of play up throughout the entire game and a break after one Donaghadee strike, saw them work the ball back down the pitch. Despite further sterling work from the Dee defence, a shot at goal looked like it was going wide, only to sneak inside the post giving the Elks another goal.
The home side earned themselves several penalty corners throughout the match and even though the Dee defence made numerous clearances and saves, a final goal from one such set piece occurred towards the end of the game. With continued determination and looking for a consolation goal Donaghadee did not give up and Natasha carried the ball up the pitch to allow Karen an impressive strike at goal but sadly the ball went just wide. The Dee earned themselves a last minute penalty corner but despite Emily’s best efforts the Elks keeper saved the shot.
Final score 4-0 to the Ulster Elks who were happy to proceed to the next round of the cup.
Thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring. Next week sees Donaghadee 2nd XI back to normal league action with an away match against Malone.