Senior League 3: Donaghadee LHC 1XI 3-0 Newcastle Nomads
Triple delight for Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club last weekend, with both teams running out 3-0 winners and the 1XI notching up their third victory in a row.
With the 1XI’s season rapidly drawing to a close, the race has been on to secure sufficient points to ensure Senior 3 status is assured for next season and the girls didn’t disappoint with this result at home to Newcastle; their third win from three games. Captain Ali Lawther had an almost full strength team at her disposal with Lisa Higgins back in the fray after a week’s absence and Laura Boyle, home on a break from work, putting in a cameo appearance.
Donaghadee started brightly and immediately ensured the Newcastle defence had plenty to think about, with probing runs in the wide channels by Ruth Coulter and Kerry Kennedy. Helen Hooks showed her worth, once again, as a dynamic midfielder with a typical forward burst and pinpoint pass which Sarah Harkness was delighted to latch on to to unleash a powerful strike past the Newcastle goalkeeper. Further patient build up play on the left through Kat McFarlane and Helen created Donaghadee’s second chance, with Carolyn Scott nipping in ahead of the onrushing keeper to put Donaghadee 2-0 up going in to half time.
With only a point separating the two teams before pass back, there was everything to play for: entirely evident when Newcastle began the second half strongly, creating chances which Nicola Patton did well to repel, with defenders Claire Stewart, Amy Long and Paige Reilly doing any further mopping up as required. Caitland Crockett popped up at the other end with her second goal in as many matches shortly before the full time whistle to put the result beyond doubt and secure another valuable three points for Donaghadee.
Many thanks to Brian McKee for umpiring. the 1XI travel to Lurgan on Friday night for the second round of the Intermediate Plate before resuming league duties at home to Newry on Saturday 5th March.
Junior League 8: NICS 4XI 0-3 Donaghadee LHC 2XI
Donaghadee 2XI travelled to Stormont on Saturday to play NICS 4XI. The visitors were keen to put the last couple of weeks behind them and so started the game strongly which paid off as within a matter of minutes they earned themselves a penalty corner. The ball was played out to Karen Fegan who struck it cleanly leaving the NICS defence stunned at going down 1-0 so early on in the game.
Donaghadee continued to exert pressure with Angela Parker and Emily Morris linking well together to play the ball through to forward Maura Hennessey. Maura entered the circle and although her strike was on target the NICS keeper managed to take some pace off the ball but when the defence failed to clear the ball to safety, Karen was on hand to add another to her ever increasing tally of goals this season.
The NICS team stepped up play and then it was their turn to exert some pressure on the Dee defence of Debbie Findlater, Lisa Alexander and Tori Rollo. The defenders generally gave keeper Janice McVeigh little work to do apart from one impressive diving save which was necessary to keep NICS off the scoreboard. Karen and Melissa Rollo were on hand as the runners in defensive penalty corners to once again thwart the efforts of the home side.
After half time both teams enjoyed some competitive play with both sides having their chances. Elle Fegan, Deborah Gilmour, Nikki Robinson and Melissa all rotated to provide fresh legs between the Dee back line and the midfielders and consistently made some great tackles showing the strength in the 2XI defence. A quick run from Angela up the right side of the pitch resulted in her producing a very impressive flick right over the keeper’s head with the ball ending up in the top left corner of the net.
In the final couple of minutes Vickie Pollock broke into the circle and although it looked like the Dee might add another to their tally it was not to be. The final score ended 3-0 ensuring Donaghadee took away the 3 points for the win, a good confidence boost for the team after a difficult couple of matches recently. Many thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring. Donaghadee play Owls this Saturday at Bangor Grammar.