Junior League 8: Donaghadee LHC 2XI 2-1 NICS 4XI
After the Halloween break last week, Donaghadee 2XI continued their league programme welcoming NICS 4XI to Bangor Grammar on Saturday.
The match started in heavy rain making conditions tough and slow for both sides. NICS won themselves a couple of early penalty corners and after an unsuccessful attempt when the experienced Dee defence of Lisa Alexander, Tori Rollo, Karen Fegan and Melissa Rollo with keeper Janice McVeigh cleared the initial ball to safety, the visitors managed to slip the second attempt past putting them 1-0 up.
As the clouds parted and the sun came out, the level of play improved steadily throughout the game and the home side became more determined not to let the match slip from their grasp. The young midfielders Caitland Crockett, Angela Parker and Elle Fegan worked the ball forward and managed to find Maura Hennessey at the edge of the opponent’s circle. She expertly controlled the bobbling ball and calmly flicked the ball high into the net much to the delight of the ever increasing group of Dee supporters.
After the half time break again Donaghadee stepped up the level of their play and, with Melissa and Nikki Robinson working hard in the middle of pitch to break down any NICS attacks, the home side continued to mount pressure. Vickie Pollock, Caitland and Karen all made attempts at goal to keep the NICS defenders busy. Melissa was desperately unlucky not to add to her tally of goals for this season when her shot from a penalty corner bounced off the post.
The visitors however were keen to retaliate and at times broke through into the circle calling on defenders Debbie Findlater, Tori and Lisa to keep the pressure off Janice. Although the match was hotly contested by both teams Donaghadee looked the hungrier side and right at the end of the match Kate Pounder won them a penalty corner. Maura stepped up and took the initial strike with Emily Morris neatly deflecting the ball at the left post into back of the net, resulting in the home side winning the match 2-1
Many thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring. Next week sees a repeat of this fixture when Donaghadee 2nds play NICS 4ths in the first round of the Minor Cup away, when Donaghadee will be hoping for a repeat of the scoreline also.
The 1XI were due to play Newcastle away on Saturday afternoon but the fixture fell foul of the weather, with Donard Park waterlogged and unplayable meaning a two week break going in to their own Cup tie – the first round of the Intermediate Cup against Senior 2 side Dromore (away).