With Donaghadee LHC’s 1XI’s season now complete – in a year which saw the best finish for the club in twenty years – the 2XI have been busy rounding up their season in the past couple of weeks with tough matches against league leaders Mossley and Minor Plate Finalists Malone.
Mossley 1-2 Donaghadee LHC 2XI
On Friday 27 March they travelled to The Glade to face Mossley in what could be considered their toughest match of the season. Within the early exchanges Mossley got past the Dee keeper and, even though Donaghadee tried to clear the ball off the line, a Mossley forward was there to give the final tap needed to give her side an early lead. A lot of the play was on the left and Donaghadee left wing Karen Fegan made inroads into the Mossley circle only to be taken down by the Mossley keeper. Adjudged by the umpire to be dangerous, Donaghadee were awarded a penalty flick; a chance to draw level not wasted just before half time.
The action was end to end in the second half with both teams earning penalty corners, though neither team were able to edge in front. In the Dee goal Janice McVeigh made some excellent saves when challenged, with the defenders constantly on hand to clear balls to safety. With the time ticking down Donaghadee were awarded a penalty corner and Melissa Rollo took the chance to give the Dee the lead which they held on to until the final whistle; a great 2-1 result against the Junior 8 league leaders.
Donaghadee LHC 2XI 1-0 Malone
To get the remaining league fixtures played at the earliest opportunity, the 2XI welcomed Malone to Bangor Grammar in a midweek fixture in the penultimate game of the season. Filled with confidence from their win against Mossley the team started strongly and were very much in control in the opening exchanges. Teegan Greer stepped back into the keeper pads, and she made no mistake, clearing every shot Malone made, with defensive duo Nina Wells and Lisa Alexander also quick to close down the attacks. In midfield Natasha Cameron and Melissa Rollo were both getting through the Malone defence with centre forward Jan Morrow making herself available in the circle on numerous occasions but she couldn’t work the break she needed to get her name on the score sheet. 0-0 at the break.
Changes at half time saw Lisa Higgins, Tasha Paxton and Bailey Quinn giving extra impetus to the home side. With Amy Long taking a quick free hit to Emily Morris, the ball was swept wide to Tasha Paxton, putting Tasha through on the keeper. Her first goal in Donaghadee colours was enough to seal the richly deserved victory for the Seconds.
Malone 1-1 Donaghadee LHC 2XI
The return fixture against Malone was played three days later, on the more usual Saturday slot, away at Strathearn. Malone started strongly from the whistle, earning themselves several penalty corners in quick succession but Tori Rollo, Lisa Alexander, Amy and Nina were on hand to clear any shots from reaching Teegan who stepped into the pads again for this match. Malone were not making it easy for the defence with midfielders Natasha Cameron and Melissa dropping back into to help. Unfortunately Natasha’s match was brought to an end with a nasty ankle injury but Tasha was on hand to keep the midfield stable. Just before half time Donaghadee had their first chance with Karen Fegan’s shot but it was just tapped wide by the keeper.
The second half produced some nail biting action for the spectators. With the game stretched Malone took the lead but Donaghadee were quick to react. A free hit was carried forward by Jan, setting up Carolyn Scott who made no mistake to bring the Dee level. The girls kept pushing in search of the winner, with Bailey, Jan and Carolyn working hard up front but time ran out with the final score remaining one goal a piece, leaving the 2XI with two wins and a draw in their final three games – momentum which they will hope to bring into the start of next season’s league campaign.
The league proper may now be finished for both teams, but there is still plenty of action lined up for the coming weeks, starting with the DLHC Family Fun Day at Crawfordsburn on Sunday 19th April from 12noon to 3pm. Activities will include archery, climbing walls and assault courses and is open to all family and friends of DLHC.
The Club is also running Pay per Play small sided games on Wednesday evenings from 7.30-8,30pm at Bangor Grammar and these sessions are open to all females aged 15 or over, regardless of age, ability or affiliation to club. Details of all upcoming events can be found on http://www.donaghadeelhc.co.uk