Senior League 3: Donaghadee LHC 1XI 1-1 Ballynahinch 1XI
Thanks to the cold snap across the Province many of Senior 3’s matches were called off on Saturday but true to form the pitch at Bangor Grammar was in perfect playing condition with both Donaghadee teams in action in the double header against Ballynahinch. The 1XI were first up, with only a point separating the two sides in the table before pass back.
With Donaghadee winning by a single goal in this fixture at the start of the season there was never going to be much in this game, and both teams had chances early on to make their mark. Siobhan McAdam in the Dee goal needed to be on her mettle early on to push away a tentative effort from a Ballynahinch attack and at the other end Carolyn Scott was denied by the Hinch keeper deflecting the ball on to the post and away to safety.
With much of Ballynahinch’s first half play going down the Dee left, Sarah Louise Baird and Emily Morris were kept busy defensively, but both were also able to give the visiting rearguard plenty to think about with their attacking forays and balls forward for Kerrie Turtle and Caitland Crockett to latch on to. Determined defending from Amy Long and Claire Stewart allowed nothing through and there was no score going into the break.
Ballynahinch made the most of a numerical advantage at the back post early in the second half however with a Hinch midfielder sneaking forward to connect with a cross from the right to put the ball firmly in the back of the Dee net. Despite continued endeavour and a number of attacking penalty corners, Donaghadee just couldn’t find a way to unlock the Ballynahinch defence to draw level.
With two minutes signalled, the Dee won yet another penalty corner and with a swift injection by Paige Reilly, the ball was worked by Ali Lawther through to Kerry Kennedy. With everything seeming to go into slow motion, she took the strike and despite a hefty deflection from a defender, the ball flew past the wrong-footed Hinch keeper to give the red and green a deserved equaliser, much to the delight of the watching Dee spectators.
With seconds remaining, there was only time to take the restart before the final whistle was blown on another entertaining, end to end match, and another valuable point for Donaghadee. Thanks to Brian McKee for umpiring and the 1XI are next in action at home to Kilkeel on Saturday, pass back 1pm.
Junior League 7: Donaghadee LHC 2XI 0-2 Ballynahinch 2XI
It was then the turn of Donaghadee LHC 2XI to take on their Ballynahinch counterparts. In similar fashion to the preceding match, play was evenly contested with both teams keen to get an early goal on the score sheet. Karen Fegan linked well with Carmen van der Schyff in a mighty battle in midfield as they tried to set the Dee forwards free.
Vickie Pollock was the first to try her luck, with a shot that just narrowly whistled agonsingly the wrong side of the post. Ballynahinch then took their turn to attack but a strong defensive effort from Lisa Alexander, Deborah Gilmore and Georgia Ferguson prevented the visitors getting through.
Going into second half Ballynahinch upped the tempo of their game but Lynsey Sloan was having a cracking game in midfield to break up the threats before they fully materialised. Rebecca Bolton then made a superb run to find Vicky O’Neill in the circle but the Hinch defence was on form to clear it. Natalie Jamieson also had a chance but the visitors held firm.
Their strong defensive platform gave the Ballynahinch forwards impetus as the match wore on and despite numerous saves from Donaghadee keeper Janice McVeigh, they finished the match 2-0 to the good. Thanks to Paige Reilly for umpiring. The 2XI play Queen’s 5XI away on Saturday.
Miss last week’s match report for the 1XI v Bangor and the 2XI v Instonians? Read it here >>>