23 September 2017: Donaghadee LHC 1XI 1-1 Annadale and Newry 7-1 Donaghadee LHC 2XI

Senior 3: DLHC 1XI 1-1 Annadale
Donaghadee Ladies’ 1XI welcomed Belfast side Annadale to Bangor Grammar on Saturday knowing they’d be in for a tough match; not only have previous years seen tight results between the two sides, but Annadale got off to a flying start last week with a 5-1 victory over South Antrim. The Dee won a hard fought point against Bangor however and with a strong team available for Captain Paige Reilly again this week, all the signs pointed to another close encounter.

Donaghadee won the toss and chose to play with the blustery wind at their backs in the first half. The initial exchanges were dominated by the midfields as both tried to exert early authority on the game; Donaghadee welcomed back the dynamic Helen Hooks to complement the silky skills of Kerry Kennedy in the middle of the pitch, with Catherine Armstrong providing the outlet wide on the right.

The Dee defence was tested midway through the first half, when an Annadale forward burst free to find herself one on one with Donaghadee keeper Siobhan McAdam. The Ulster Masters’ netminder was well up to the task though, standing tall to make a super save to keep the score at 0-0. The home defence were unlucky moments later when a cross came in from the Dee’s left and an Annadale attacker bustled through to apply the finishing touch at the far post. Despite Donaghadee feeling slightly aggrieved that there had been an obstruction to prevent the defence getting to the ball, the goal stood and the Dee went into the half time break 1-0 down.

There was a huge amount of grit on show from the red and green defence as the second half got underway; at one point Amy Long, Claire Stewart and Siobhan were all lying prostrate in the circle having all thrown themselves bodily at a wave of Annadale attacks. The determination paid off however, with the ball being cleared to safety without the goal lined having been broached.

It was the last action for Amy who, unable to continue after her heroics, was replaced by Emma McGimpsey and Donaghadee started to find a foothold in the game. Ali Stevenson and Sarah-Louise Baird became the link between defence and attack and the red and green began to work the ball better in the final third of the pitch.

With Carolyn Scott running across the Annadale keeper, Kerry K had enough room to squeeze a shot low to the keeper’s right, pinging it off the inside of the post and along the line. The chance seemed lost, but Leanna Young timed her run to the back post to perfection and from a tight angle, fired the rebound high into the roof of the net for a stunning first Dee goal for the newcomer.

Both sides had chances to take the three points before the final whistle but on reflection, a draw was probably the fairest result as there continues to be little to separate the two teams. Thanks go to Hannah Simpson for umpiring and to Red Leaf Kitchens and Interiors for sponsoring the 1XI’s match ball. Next up for the Firsts is a trip to Shaw’s Bridge on Saturday to play Cooke, pass back 1pm.

Junior 8: Newry 7-1 DLHC 2XI
With an early fixture rearrangement last week, Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 2XI got their league campaign underway on Saturday with a trip down the A1 to Newry. Newry were relegated from the Firsts’ league, Senior 3, last year, so this was going to be a big challenge for Captain Janice McVeigh and her team.

There was plenty of experience in the Dee ranks though, with Kerrie Turtle, Emily Morris, Tasha Paxton and Sarah Harkness all having faced Newry in Senior 3 over the last couple of years. The marker was quickly laid down, with these Dee stalwarts all involved in Donaghadee’s first attacking move.

Emily wasted no time in spraying a quick pass to Tasha who in turn found Sarah in the attacking circle. With Newry’s defence not yet up to speed, she was able to pick a pass to an expectant Kerrie. With a calm finish and no more than a minute gone on the clock, Donaghadee found themselves 1-0 up to make it a dream start.

Newry’s strength soon began to tell though, with keeper Janice called into action on a number of occasions to keep the home side at bay. The pressure was relentless however and one shot fell to a Newry attacker who was able to bring her side level. Just before half time, they added a second but Donaghadee heads were still high.

With the half time team talk out of the way, Donaghadee felt they were still in with a chance of taking something from the game, and there was great determination shown by Deborah Gilmore, Natalie Jamison and Nikki Robinson clearing the ball  away from danger. At the other end, Rebecca Bolton, Vicky O’Neill and Caroline Davison worked tirelessly to try and create an opening but the Newry fire-power was just too strong.

The final score was 7-1 but the young Dee side were praised roundly for their play and never-say-die attitude – something which will stand them in good stead as the season progresses. The Seconds are at home to NICS 4XI this Saturday, passback 1pm.

Halloween at the Rugby Club
DLHC and DRFC are joining forces for a massive Hockey/Rugby Halloween Party at Donaghadee Rugby Club this October! With a DJ until late, games galore and fancy dress – do you dare? 😈

Tickets are £10 each, available from all DLHC and DRFC players, at the bar in the Rugby Club, or message us. All welcome! All proceeds to DLHC and DRFC club funds. Saturday 28th October from 8pm.

(And if you’re in need of a pre-party pint or two, the Ulster v Leinster match will be on in the Club from 6-8pm too)

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About Donaghadee LHC

Online home of Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club. You can also find us on Facebook /DonaghadeeLHC and @DonaghadeeLHC on Twitter.
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