Senior League 3: Donaghadee LHC 1XI 4-1 Newry 1XI
Coming off the back of two losses to Kilkeel and Newry, Donaghadee were missing midfield lynchpin Helen Hooks and defensive stalwart Paige Reilly for this one, but the Dee were delighted to welcome back Nina Wells for her first appearance this season, slotting in beside Ali Lawther in midfield.
Indeed this pairing came in handy in the early exchanges, when Newry’s busy central midfielder tried to direct her side forward. With play subsequently broken down on the left, winger Ruth Kennedy set Kerrie Turtle bursting forward on a terrific solo run down the inside left channel. With the last remaining defender drawn to the ball, Kerrie deftly picked an inch-perfect pass inside to fellow forward Carolyn Scott who was able to round the keeper and slot the ball home just inside the keeper’s left hand post to give Donaghadee a deserved lead.
The frenetic pace continued, with Kerry Kennedy this time making space to attack up the middle; her pass finding Carolyn at the top of the circle where the forward was able to shoot on the turn – the sheer pace of the shot forcing the ball right between the keeper’s legs to make it 2-0 to Donaghadee.
It was not all one way traffic though; Dee keeper Nicola Patton made several good saves – including one dramatic diving effort, with Claire Stewart calmly redistributing the rebounds wide to try to protect the clean sheet. The defence were also involved in the Dee’s next goal, when right back Amy Long set winger Emily Morris free. A lung-bursting effort got Emily into the attacking 25 where she unleashed a bullet of a cross. With Carolyn on hand to get the faintest of touches, helped further by a defender’s stick, Donaghadee went into half time 3-0 to the good.
Newry came out with considerable determination in the second half and, despite a trademark charge down from Lisa Higgins at an early penalty corner, the shot was converted to give Newry a lifeline. With play swinging back down to Donaghadee’s attacking end, Kerry K was unlucky to have a goal disallowed but Emily made absolutely sure of the result with a goal of her own. Final score 4-1 to Donaghadee. Many thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring. The 1XI are next in action away to Annadale at Lagan College on Saturday, pass back 1pm.
Junior 7: Donaghadee LHC 2XI 0-5 Coleraine 3XI
In the second match of the day, Donaghadee LHC 2XI welcomed Coleraine to BGS. The girls in red and green initially got off to a great start with Emily Morris linking well with Elle Fegan to work the ball into the Coleraine circle where Row Moore was on hand to get a shot away. The Coleraine defence was stout however and they quickly cleared to put Donaghadee’s defence of Lisa Alexander, Deborah Gilmour and Suzie Ferguson under a lot of early pressure.
With a strong rearguard making some great clearances for their forwards, Coleraine attacked relentlessly and their efforts paid off when they were able to slot home their second of the day. Donaghadee came again though, with Lisa Higgins finding Carmen van der Schyff on the left. As Carmen tried get to the circle, Coleraine were there once again to step in to turn defence to attack, resulting in another swift break and another goal: 3-0 to Coleraine at the end of the first half.
Donaghadee came out strongly in the second half with Natalie Jamieson combining well with Rebecca Bolton to get past a few Coleraine players to find some space in the Coleraine circle but again, the Coleraine defence was on hand to clear and put Dee keeper Janice McVeigh under considerable pressure; Janice responding by making several well-timed saves, but Coleraine remained undaunted and finished the game 5-0 to the good. Many thanks to Nicola Patton for umpiring. The 2XI play at home on Saturday against North Down 5XI, pass back 1pm.