Senior League 3: Holywood 6-1 Donaghadee 1XI
Although the season is autumn, the past few weeks have felt like a dark winter for Donaghadee LHC’s 1XI after some heavy defeats in their new league, but winter could be turning into spring with a few green shoots of positivity finally breaking through. The team certainly seems to be getting back to playing the attractive passing hockey that served them so well last season, and this was how they started the match against a Holywood team that have begun this season with mixed fortunes.
Donaghadee dominated the opening exchanges, working well down both sides of the pitch and creating a number of chances to take an early lead. However a combination of stout defending and good goalkeeping kept the Dee girls out, and as has happened so often this season, a quick break and some slick passing by the Holywood forwards ended with a goal for the opposition. Donaghadee quickly regrouped and continued to push for an equaliser until they came under a period of more sustained pressure just before half time which led to a second Holywood goal.
The scoreline read 2-0 at half time, but the Dee had showed enough attacking intent to turn around in positive mood, and their attitude was finally rewarded. Good Dee pressure in the opposition half led to a couple of half-shots on goal and when a clearance fell to Helen Hooks, supporting the forwards from her midfield berth, she saw her strike beat the keeper and sneak in at the back post to bring the Dee back within one goal.
Unfortunately this margin didn’t last very long; within 5 minutes Holywood had restored the 2 goal advantage in spite of the best efforts of the Dee defence. Even then the Donaghadee girls didn’t give up, and continued to break with speed and determination but it seemed that each time they pushed forward seeking goals, Holywood used the opportunity to get in behind the Dee defence and, with some impressive finishing, put the game beyond reach.
The final score read 6-1 to Holywood, but both they and their umpire magnanimously agreed it by no means reflected the match. Another defeat, but with more positive signs on show the Dee girls look forward to building on the improvements they are making week by week. Thanks go to Brian McKee for umpiring.
Next match for the 1XI is at home to Annadale on Saturday, pass back 2.30pm and all support will be most welcome as the girls aim for their first win of the season.
Junior League 8: Ballymena XI 1-1 Donaghadee 2XI
After a successful start to their 2015/16 league campaign with 3 wins out of 4 games to date Donaghadee 2XI travelled to Ballymena Academy on Saturday to take on Ballymena 4XI looking to add more points to their tally.
Both teams started the game strongly with very evenly matched end to end play. Both teams had chances to score but thanks to the experienced Dee defence of Lisa Alexander, Tori Rollo, Debbie Findlater and keeper Janice McVeigh, Ballymena were denied any opportunity to get their noses in front.
Good linking play from Elle Fegan and Kate Pounder allowed Karen Fegan and Caitland Crockett several shots but unfortunately for Donaghadee none could be converted. Angela Parker, who turned 15 the day before the game, enjoyed her debut performance for Donaghadee, adding speed to the right wing and giving the Ballymena defenders plenty of trouble.
After half time Ballymena worked hard to put themselves ahead with many of their efforts successfully hampered by Melissa Rollo and Nikki Robinson in midfield. The home side’s perseverance however paid off as they just managed to put the ball over the line despite a couple of good saves from Janice and Lisa’s efforts to clear the ball away to safety.
Donaghadee kept up the pressure right to the end of the match resulting in a great shot from Kat Masterson finding the back of the net, however as the ball touched a Ballymena player’s foot on the way, a penalty corner was awarded. The initial strike was saved by the Ballymena keeper but Emily Morris was on hand to slot the rebound in, levelling the game at 1-1.
The final score was 1-1 with Donaghadee happy to add another point to their total. Many thanks to Nicola Patton for umpiring. Next up is a trip away to Ballynahinch on Friday night.