18/3/17 Donaghadee LHC 1XI 1-1 Instonians and Donaghadee LHC 2XI 0-3 Owls

Senior League 3: DLHC 1XI 1-1 Instonians
There may only be a handful of matches left in the 2016/17 season for Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI but they met Instonians for the first time this term, with the first fixture earlier in the season postponed due to bad weather.

The conditions on Saturday weren’t much better, with much of the match taking place in a steady downpour. Captain Amy Long was delighted to welcome back into defence Claire Stewart, fresh from a week on the slopes, and she was in her usual imperious form; driving the ball from the Dee circle and making a number of vital clearances during the course of the match.

Indeed with both Paige Reilly and Amy providing wide outlets round the back, Donaghadee were able to build attacks with good solid interplay, something which was lacking in last week’s performance against PSNI – with Ruth Coulter pulling the strings in midfield to get the whole team involved as they pressed forward.

With Ali Lawther providing a clean stop at a penalty corner early in the first half, Carolyn Scott was able to execute an unstoppable strike to give Donaghadee the lead. The match could have been beyond doubt by half time but Kerrie Turtle was dreadfully unlucky to see an effort come back off the right hand upright before Carolyn managed to hit the same post with a penalty stroke that was just too tightly aimed at the corner.

Instonians grew into their attacking role as the second half got underway and both Dee midfielders Helen Hooks and Caitland Crockett were needed to help get the ball cleared from the Dee 25. Emily Morris continued her good form as Donaghadee worked to get the ball back up the pitch but Instonians equalised with a penalty corner of their own following an indiscretion in the Donaghadee circle.

Both teams created numerous chances but Dee keeper Nicola Patton was in resolute form to deny any further goals, with her opposite number also making a couple of decent saves to leave the score 1-1 at the final whistle. Thanks to Brian McKee for umpiring. The Firsts play their penultimate match on Friday night against Parkview (pass back 7.30pm) before the rearranged fixture away to Instonians wraps up the season.

Junior League 7: DLHC 2XI 0-3 Owls
In the first passback of the Dee double header on Saturday, Donaghadee 2XI were at home to promotion chasing Owls Ladies 2XI. This was undoubtedly going to be a tough game but the performances from Donaghadee of late have been confidence-boosting, so the girls in red and green were keen to get started.

Owls had first passback and they were quickly on the attack, with Donaghadee’s defence of Lisa Alexander, Natalie Jamieson and Nicky McMillan under immediate pressure. They managed to clear the ball to safety though, with one super clearance finding its way to Karen Fegan. She had a neat interchange with Vicky O’Neill who did really well to find Carmen van der Schyff in the circle ready to shoot.

The away team cleared the danger though and were were quick to step in front of the Dee players to prevent any further danger. The Owls team got stronger as the match wore on, making several dangerous breaks which Lynsey Sloan did well to break up.

Determined running from young Rebecca Bolton created a good attack for Donaghadee, setting up Vickie Pollock in the circle. The shot narrowly missed the post and Owls were spurred on to press the Dee all over the pitch, working numerous openings to test Dee keeper Nicola Patton.

They made good a number of their chances though and the final score was 3-0 to Owls. Thanks to Caitland Crockett for umpiring.

MIss last week’s report on the 1XI’s match against PSNI or the 2XI’s narrow defeat to CI? Read it all here >>>


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