Senior League 3: Coleraine 3-1 Donaghadee LHC 1XI
Only Donaghadee Ladies’ 1XI were in action last weekend, and they headed north to take on Senior League 3 leaders, Coleraine, in the penultimate game of the Dee’s season.
Coleraine have been flying high over the last two seasons – having been promoted as convincing winners of Senior 4 last year – and Donaghadee have been on the wrong end of a couple of heavy defeats against this side. The luck has to change at some stage however and Captain Ali Lawther gave a rousing pre-match team talk to buoy the ranks.
It must have had some sort of effect as, thanks to plenty of hard work, no small fortune and a string of outstanding saves from Dee keeper Siobhan McAdam, the first half was scoreless. While Coleraine undoubtedly posed a great threat going forward, the Donaghadee defence proved up to the task; Kat McFarlane and Helen Hooks tucking in tight in midfield and trying to use the wide channels to attack when the chance arose. With Siobhan marshalling Amy Long, Paige Reilly and Lisa Higgins in front of her, there was no way through for the home forwards and Donaghadee certainly deserved to be level at half time.
In fact it was Donaghadee who drew first blood in the second half thanks to Tasha Paxton using her pace to get to the back line and excellent movement off the ball by Kerrie Turtle to distract the last defender. Tasha was able to thread a keeper-beating pinpoint cross to the waiting Carolyn Scott who made no mistake with her sixth goal of the season. This seemed to stir Coleraine back into action and, with both Tasha and Carolyn now carrying slight injury niggles, Sarah Harkness suffering a nasty accidental ball to the head and no subs for Donaghadee, Coleraine began to exert more pressure and push higher up the pitch, swamping the Donaghadee midfield.
It wasn’t long before the pressure told and Coleraine were back on equal terms. Despite Donaghadee’s grim determination to hang on, Coleraine scored a further two goals to secure the Senior 3 title in front of their support and Ulster Hockey officials who were on hand to present them with the cup – congratulations to them. Final game of the season for DLHC 1XI is away to Newcastle, date still to be confirmed. DLHC 2XI next play on Saturday away to Queen’s at the Dub, passback 2.30pm.