21/11/15 Newry 3-1 Donaghadee LHC 1XI and Donaghadee LHC 2XI 0-1 Instonians

Senior League 3: Newry 3-1 Donaghadee LHC 1XI
Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI travelled to fellow promotees Newry Olympic last Saturday in the last match before the midway point in the Senior League 3 programme.

Last season saw a veritable goal fest, with 7 goals scored in the corresponding fixture last November and, with mere points between the two come the end of the 14/15 season, this fixture promised much – despite the fact that Donaghadee have found points harder to come by than their hosts in this new league so far this season.

With Donaghadee trying to play quick attacking hockey from the outset, they were rewarded with a couple of good chances early on – Kerrie Turtle in particular most unlucky when her shot skidded along the goal line with the keeper beaten but no one on hand to tap in at the back post.

Inroads were definitely being made into the home defence, with midfielders Ali Lawther linking well with Helen Hooks, Maura Hennessey (fresh from 2XI duty the previous evening) providing several lovely crosses from the left and Sarah Harkness playing the ball high from a deep central position but the Newry keeper made several well timed saves to keep the score down at that end.

At the other end however, it was a different story, with the home side creating chances against a Donaghadee defence missing Kat McFarland and Paige Riley, with 2XI keeper Janice Mcveigh also stepping up for her second match of the weekend. The players on the pitch – Claire Stewart, Lisa Higgins and Amy Long (the third Dee player on her second match) – did a valiant job in repelling the Newry attacks but eventually conceded to concerted pressure with the home side going in a couple to the good at half time.

After the turn around Donaghadee continued in much the same vein with Tasha Paxton providing the legs down the left and Ruth Coulter providing the impetus down the right. It was Ruth’s pinpoint cross to Carolyn Scott in the circle which broke the deadlock for the Dee as the forward met the ball with a sweeping first time shot beyond the Newry keeper and into the far corner. It was too late a rally though, with 3-1 to the home side the final score.

Thanks to Brian McKee for umpiring and to the three players who did their bit twice over the weekend. Next match is on Saturday at home to Enniskillen.

Junior League 8: Donaghadee LHC 0-1 Instonians
It was a bitterly cold Friday night last week that Donaghadee LHC 2XI welcomed Instonians to Bangor Grammar. The match started with Donaghadee in the ascendancy, with a number of early penalty corners won by forwards Vickie Pollock, Caitland Crockett and Maura Hennessey, but unfortunately for the Dee none of these was converted. Instonians rallied and play was end-to-end allowing two evenly matched teams to be satisfied at the 0-0 half time score line.

The second half, similarly to the first, started in Donaghadee’s favour as the midfield pressed forward through Kerry Savage, Karen Fegan and Deborah Gilmour with added energy supplied by the youth of Elle Fegan and Angela Parker, but they were unable to find the final touch to get the all important score. Donaghadee were missing a few of the regulars but the defensive line up for this game included Nina Wells and Amy Long stepping in to help out Lisa Alexander and the three of them stood firm in defence as Instonians pressed forward.

One final surge saw Instonians capitalizing on an initial save from Donaghadee keeper Janice McVeigh as they knocked in the rebound. Donaghadee battled on to try level the game but there were to be no more goals, leaving the final score Instonians 1, Donaghadee 0. Many thanks to Carolyn Scott for umpiring. Next up for the 2XI is Pegasus at home.

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