Intermediate Plate round 2: Lurgan 3XI 3-2 DLHC 1XI (AET)
Donaghadee LHC 1XI travelled to Lurgan last Friday night in the second round of the Intermediate Plate, having been given a bye in the first round thanks to Ballyclare conceding. Despite missing several first team regulars it was an evenly contested affair with Lurgan scoring first but Donaghadee equalising through Kerry Kennedy’s shot. Play continued in much the same vein in the second half, with Lurgan scoring early and Tasha Paxton on hand this time to equalise for the Dee.
With the score all square at the final whistle, the teams turned around for extra time. With things still level and penalty strokes looming, Lurgan won a penalty corner in the dying minutes which they converted at the third attempt to book their place in the next round. Best of luck to them. It’s back to league action this week for the 1XI, in their final home game of the season, against Newry. Pass back 1pm at Bangor Grammar.
Donaghadee 2XI played Owls away on Saturday at Roughfort Road in the league. The scheduled encounter between these two teams was due to take place on a Friday night mid January but frost got the better of the pitch on that occasion. What a difference a few weeks makes as the match was played in lovely sunny conditions on Saturday. Donaghadee were without the luxury of having rolling subs for the first time all season and with several of the players having been called up to play for the 1XI the previous night there were some leg-weary players.
With their team of young players, Owls exerted early pressure on the Dee defence of Lisa Alexander, Debbie Findlater and Tori Rollo and after a period of scrambling around the Dee circle, the home side eventually just nudged the ball over the line to put themselves ahead with a scrappy goal. Donaghadee retaliated and with a free hit taken quickly by Lisa Higgins around the half way line, the ball was played out to Emily Morris who found Vickie Pollock lurking unmarked just inside the Dee circle. Vickie struck the ball well, wrong-footing the Owls keeper, to level the match at one each.
After the break both teams looked eager to get ahead resulting in chances being created at both ends keeping the opposing defences busy. The Dee earned themselves a couple of penalty corners, the first of which was taken by Karen Fegan but cleared to safety by the Owls defence. Next Angela Parker made a great strike out towards the left post but the deflection from Emily was swiftly cleared out by the keeper. Owls were quick to break when they won the ball in their half but the Dee defence were alert to close them down on several occasions.
Feeling time running out on the clock, Deborah Gilmour took a long corner quickly and when Caitland Crockett unleashed a super shot from the edge of the circle, it looked like the Dee would go ahead until the Owls keeper, who had a great game, managed to punch the ball over the cross bar at full stretch. With Donaghadee reeling from their denied opportunity Owls seized their chance and quickly broke to the other end of the pitch earning themselves a penalty corner in the last minute of the game. The Owls forward struck the ball so well, that even though keeper Janice McVeigh got her stick to the ball, the power was sufficient to rattle the backboard and leave Janice’s hand tingling for some time.
Disappointingly for the Dee the final score read 2-1. Many thanks to Ali Lawther for umpiring. Donaghadee 2XI travel Shaw’s Bridge this Friday evening to play Instonians to continue their league action.