13/12/14 DLHC 1XI v Ballynahinch and Malone v DLHC 2XI

Senior League 4: DLHC 1XI 2-0 Ballynahinch
It was the last match of 2014 on Saturday for Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI with the girls looking to go into the Christmas break with a win under their sticks. Ballynahinch were the opposition and, with Donaghadee having already recorded a 3-2 win against this team in September, there was optimism that the team could halt the recent run of defeats.

The Donaghadee team started really strongly, enjoying much of the possession in the opening 10 minutes with Victoria Speers – playing her last game for the Dee before she heads to pastures new in London in the new year, and Catherine Armstrong in particular very busy in midfield as they tried to break down the Ballynahinch defence. There was a lot of action in the middle third of the pitch with neither side able to really make inroads into the other’s defence but Donaghadee were the first on the score sheet thanks to a great break from Kerry Kennedy on the right. She fed centre forward Kerrie Turtle who finished brilliantly, squeezing a shot away under considerable pressure from several Hinch defenders.

Ballynahinch started to find their way back into the game but Claire Stewart and Nina Wells – how good to see her back in Dee colours after a break away – were calmness personified at the back, feeding the ball wide to get things moving forward again. Suzie Ferguson on the right was also having an absolutely storming game to thwart Ballynahinch’s skilful left midfielder. There were no more goals in the first half but there were definitely signs that Donaghadee were getting back into the passing game which served them so well at the start of the season.

After the turn around, a slight reshuffle in personnel saw Lisa Higgins pushing up into midfield and Seconds’ Captain Deborah Gilmour slotting in to the left defensive position. Lisa combined well with left wing Ruth Kennedy as Donaghadee continued to push forwards but the Ballynahinch keeper made a couple of good saves to keep the score at 1-0. As in the first half, Ballynahinch then started to find their way back into the game, with Dee keeper Siobhan McAdam pulling off a couple of diving saves to keep the ball at bay.

Back down the other end, Donaghadee’s own pressure told with a succession of penalty corners and Ali Lawther, with loads of time to get a shot away at the top of the circle, did just that to make it 2-0 to Donaghadee, and much to the delight of the red and green supporters, the final whistle blew shortly after to give Donaghadee a final win of 2014 as they head into the three week Christmas break. Many thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring duties. The 1XI are next in action away to PSNI on Saturday 3rd January 2015.

Junior 8: Malone P-P DLHC 2XI
Donaghadee LHC’s 2XI were due to play Malone but the cold weather put paid to that, with an early call made to postpone the match due to a frozen pitch. The Seconds resume league action on Saturday 3rd January at home to Mossley.

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