With pre-season fitness and latterly twice weekly pitch sessions at Bangor Grammar now but a distant memory for members of Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club, attention turns to the first league matches of the season which are scheduled to take place on Saturday (12th September).
Having gained promotion from Senior 4 with Coleraine and Newry at the end of last season, DLHC’s 1XI will be facing a new set of challenges, with renewed acquaintances with near neighbours Bangor and Holywood, an unknown quantity in the shape of Annadale and last year’s Intermediate Cup First Round opponents Saintfield. Along with the trip north to Coleraine and south down the A1 to Newry, the team also face increased mileage with trips to Kilkeel and Newcastle.
The first long haul trip of the season takes place on Saturday with the Firsts heading West to play Enniskillen. The team has a slightly unfamiliar look about it with defender Suzie Ferguson unavailable due to pregnancy and Siobhan McAdam and Paige Reilly unable to travel. Donaghadee have however boosted their ranks during the summer with former Coleraine forward Sarah Harkness, ex Ards keeper Nicola Patton and Helen Hooks, previously of Bangor all declaring their availability for selection.
Details of DLHC’s 2XI’s league campaign are slightly more sketchy at the time of writing, with Ulster Hockey still to issue the finalised fixtures for Junior 8 but early indications suggest that the 2XI will be pooled with several Belfast-based teams such as Civil Service and Instonians. They will also face their own day trips with several forays north when they play Ballycastle, Coleraine, Ballymena and Owls. There will be no match for the 2XI this weekend after scheduled opponents PSNI withdrew from the league.
DLHC Skills Masterclass
The first DLHC Skills Masterclass takes place on Monday evening with the DLHC forwards and goalkeepers being put through their paces by the vastly experienced Adam Louden of QUB LHC in what should be a very useful and worthwhile hour for all involved. There will be NO training for club members not involved in the Skills Masterclass.
DLHC Players’ Barbeque
All members of the Club are invited to the Players’ Barbeque being held at Pier 36 on Saturday 19th September from 5pm. With lots of new faces appearing at the club during the pre-season period, this will be a brilliant way for all players to get to know each other off the pitch. £10 to Carolyn to secure your spot and ensure you get your share of a burger, sausage and salad!