24/10/15 Donaghadee LHC 1XI 3-1 Annadale and Ballynahinch 1-0 Donaghadee LHC 2XI

Donaghadee LHC 1XI 3-1 Annadale
The green shoots of positivity which have been emerging from the performances of Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI over the last couple of weeks finally translated into the first win of the season last Saturday when Annadale came to Bangor Grammar.

Donaghadee were quick out of the blocks for a change and put the visitors under some good early pressure with Tasha Paxton and Ruth Coulter linking well on the right and Maura Hennessey finding joy down the left flank with Helen Hooks supporting in the left midfield berth. It was a defence-splitting pass from Helen which found Carolyn Scott unmarked in the attacking 25 and, with no blue shirts in attendance, the forward carried to the edge of the circle before unleashing an unstoppable shot low to the keeper’s right to put Donaghadee 1-0 up.

Annadale were quick to respond and within minutes had equalised after a melee in the Donaghadee circle saw the ball stabbed over the goal line. Donaghadee continued to attack with purpose and again  the left brought joy when a loose Annadale sideline ball was misdirected and passed directly into free space. Carolyn was quick to pounce and in her second one on one with the Annadale keeper of the afternoon, the strike this time went to the keeper’s left with exactly the same outcome, giving Donaghadee a 2-1 lead at half time.

After the turn around Annadale were attacking through the middle and Ali Lawther in the central defensive midfield position needed to be on her mettle to protect central defenders Claire Stewart and Paige Reilly. The Dee defence looked solid, with Amy Long and Kat McFarland tucking in when necessary but also providing width when required to help set up numerous Donaghadee attacks. Dee keeper Nicola Patton was alert on numerous occasions to play her part in keeping the ball well away from the Dee goal line too, closing down quickly and clearing well to safety when called upon.

There were further Donaghadee chances with both Sarah Harkness and Kerrie Turtle threatening the visitors’ goal but Donaghadee made sure of the three points thanks to a well worked penalty corner; Claire finishing well from a tight angle with what was the first goal of her hockey career! Final score a very heartening 3-1 to Donaghadee. Many thanks to Caitland Crockett for umpiring. The next match for the 1XI is away to Newcastle on 7th November.

Junior League 8: Ballynahinch 2XI 1-0 Donaghadee LCH 2XI
Donaghadee 2nd XI travelled to Ballynahinch late on Friday night to fulfill their league fixture against Ballynahinch 2nd XI. Although the Dee side were missing some of their regular more experienced players, they were able to make great use of youngsters Elle Fegan, Angela Parker and Kate Pounder whose youthful energy helped inspire the rest of the Dee team.

Both teams started with enthusiasm resulting in some really competitive play. Caitland Crockett, Vickie Pollock and Karen Fegan all stamped their authority on the game creating chances for Donaghadee down the left side but despite their best efforts they were unable to get any score.

Donaghadee’s defence of Tori Rollo, Debbie Findlater and Melissa Rollo worked well to fend off most of the Ballynahinch attacks but not long after the start of the second half, some well-timed clean passing from the Ballynahinch players resulted in the ball crossing swiftly across the circle and despite a great dive from determined keeper Janice McVeigh, the ball trickled over the line putting Ballynahinch 1-0 ahead.

Donaghadee battled on to try and level the game up with one attack in particular starting in their own circle by Emily Morris. She found Kat Masterson unmarked and it looked like the visitors may achieve parity but unfortunately the goal was disallowed as the ball came off her knee instead of the stick!

The final whistle blew leaving the scoreline 1-0 to Ballynahinch.

Many thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring. Donaghadee have a free week next weekend and then will return to action on 7th November to take on NI Civil Service at home.

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