Intermediate Cup Round 3: Randalstown 3XI 1-1 Donaghadee LHC 1XI (RLHC win 5-4 on strokes AET)
The shuffling of personnel continued for Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI when they travelled to the Antrim Forum last Saturday to take on Randalstown 3XI in the third round of the Intermediate Cup.
Short on defenders last week, it was in the middle of the pitch where the Dee were missing players for this game – Kerry Kennedy and Helen Hooks were unavailable this week, although it was great to see Ruth Coulter back in the starting XI and pulling the strings in midfield. A late illness forced Captain Amy Long’s withdrawal but the defence were delighted to have Claire Stewart back in the heart of things, with Georgia Ferguson the hero of the day when she accepted a late call up to start her second match in a row for the 1XI.
Randalstown started the match in the ascendancy, with the opening few minutes spent testing the Donaghadee defence. Dee keeper Siobhan McAdam was on hand to shepherd an early attempt away from danger, and Georgia read play brilliantly to cut in from her right back berth to clear another attack away from the circle. Donaghadee were quick to grow into the match however and spent much of the first half peppering the home circle with attack after attack, without being able to find the killer final ball.
The left was working particularly well for the Dee, with Paige Reilly and Lisa Higgins working in tandem to feed Emily Morris on the wing. Emily’s repeated interceptions of attempted clearances, combined with her positive play ensured plenty of forward momentum to feed forwards Kerrie Turtle and Caitland Crockett as the Dee searched for the opening goal.
It was fitting that it was Emily who scored Donaghadee’s goal early in the second half after yet another foray forward but, rather than the floodgates finally opening for the Dee, Randalstown started to find their way back into the match, buoyed on by their sideline support. A strong run from their left wing provided the ball into the circle and with the ball skittering along the goal line, a Randalstown player was on the back post to bundle the ball in.
With the final whistle calling time on an end to end thriller, the two teams turned round for extra time. Both teams had chances, neither was able to capitalise and it came down to penalty strokes. Of the initial five taken, there was still nothing to separate the two: Carolyn Scott, Kerrie, Claire and Paige Reilly all scored for the Dee and into sudden death it went. With Donaghadee missing two to Randalstown’s 1, it came down to the next stroke for the home side, and much to their jubilation, the ball went just beyond the diving reach of Siobhan.
It was a hugely entertaining afternoon of hockey and congratulations and best wishes to Randalstown as they progress. Thanks to Debs Gilmore for umpiring. The 1XI are back in league action this Saturday at home against South Antrim, pass back 1pm.
In lovely hockey conditions Donaghadee LHC 2XI welcomed South Antrim 2XI to Bangor Grammar last Saturday. Donaghadee won the toss and chose to take first pass back. The girls started brightly, with midfielder Carmen van der Schyff working well with Maura Hennessey to play the ball up to the attacking circle. Young Vicky O’Neill did fanatstically well as she tried to wriggle her way through the South Antrim defence but the visitors were quick to close out the danger.
With some slick passing on show, South Antrim made a quick counter attack and, with the Dee defence wrong-footed, they put the ball in the back of the net. The Donaghadee defence were then put under considerable pressure through a number of penalty corners with Lynsey Sloan, Lisa Alexander, Natalie Jamieson and Angela Parker all doing their level best to protect the goals, and they made no mistake in clearing the ball to safety. South Antrim were able to nick another one just before the half time whistle however to finish the first period 2-0 to the good.
Going into the second half Donaghadee showed great determination not to be deterred and Karen Fegan linked with daughter Elle as they tried to push the play up towards the South circle. Rebecca Botlon made a great run forward and, hungry for her first goal for the Dee, steadied herself to shoot but unfortunately the visting defence was strong and on form to clear the ball.
Donaghadee keeper Teegan Greer, deputising for injured Janice McVeigh, was on super form to make some outstanding saves but the constant pressure told, with the final score 5-0 to South Antrim. Thanks to South Antrim for providing an umpire for this match. The Seconds are away to Holywood 2XI in the first round of the Minor Plate. Pass back is at 2.45pm at Strathearn.
Miss last week’s reports on the 1XI’s win over Newry? Read it here >>>