Senior 3: Cooke 1-0 DLHC 1XI
Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI were aiming to get points on the board for the third week in a row when they travelled to Shaw’s Bridge to play league newcomers Cooke on Saturday afternoon.
With no changes to the team from previous weeks, Donaghadee dominated the opening 15 minutes and striker Carolyn Scott forced a good opening save from the Cooke keeper when Kerry Kennedy provided an excellent through ball. Carolyn then set Leanna Young free but she too was unable to take advantage.
Emma McGimpsey was next to have a go – with the keeper off her line and eliminated by some excellent Dee forward play, Emma was inches away from tapping home but a goal line scramble saw Emma in the back of the net and the ball skittering just wide. One of those days!
With the game progressing in much the same vein, Cooke mounted a classic counterattack and with many of the Dee players caught high from their relentless onslaught, Dee keeper Siobhan McAdam was left unprotected and the home team took advantage.
It could have been two just before half time when Cooke attacked down their right. Amy Long read the danger brilliantly though and, coming from the opposite side, picked off the cross with a resounding clearance high and wide.
With a change to formation for the second half, Donaghadee began to find more joy on the wings, with Catherine Armstrong getting through a mountain of work on the right and Sarah Louise Baird bursting forward on the left.
Ali Stevenson also pushed much higher up the pitch and one of her forays into the attacking circle resulted in a hurried clearance from the Cooke keeper which fell straight to Helen Hooks at the top of the dee. Helen’s shot, heading for the bottom left corner, was kicked off the line by a defender, away for a penalty corner. One of those days.
When Cooke threatened to break again down the Dee left or through the middle, Paige Reilly and Claire Stewart were there to mop up the danger, leaving Siobhan with very little to do in the closing stages. Donaghadee were left to rue their missed chances and reflect on what might have been. Final score 1-0 to Cooke.
Thanks once again to Hannah Simpson for umpiring duties. The 1XI next play on Saturday, away to Parkview.
Junior 8: DLHC 2XI 4-0 NICS 4XI
Following a heavy defeat away at Newry last week, the 2nd XI were looking to bounce back with a home game this week against NICS 4th XI. Captain Janice McVeigh had the luxury of a 13 player squad, and every one of them played their part in an entertaining encounter at Bangor Grammar.
The Dee started as brightly as the sunshine they were playing in, with some lovely link-up play between midfield and a forward line being led in the early stages by Kerrie Turtle, Vicky O’Neill and Tasha Paxton. With only five minutes on the clock, one such move allowed Kerrie to take a shot on goal which was well saved by the keeper, but Sarah Harkness was on hand to bury the rebound from close range.
Donaghadee were determined not to waste the early lead, and continued to play attractive hockey with Emily Morris, Carmen Van Der Schyff and Rebecca Bolton covering miles in midfield seemingly effortlessly, breaking up NICS attacks and setting the Dee forwards away time and again.
The pressure resulted in a series of penalty corners but the second goal continued to elude the Dee, and NICS began to grow in confidence with some attacking play of their own which resulted in a penalty corner at the other end.
Brilliant defending by Natalie Jamieson, swiftly out as first runner, snuffed out the danger but it earned her a spell on sidelines with an injured hand as a result. She was replaced by Deborah Gilmour who slotted into defence and proceeded to impress with her solid tackling and calm ball distribution.
In spite of their dominant first half possession, Donaghadee turned around at halftime with a slim 1-0 lead, and the second half started far more evenly with both teams enjoying spells of attacking play until Rebecca set Emily away down the right hand side of the pitch – beating the first defender, Emily crossed into the circle and Vickie Pollock was there to meet it with a lovely finish.
The goal galvanised the Dee even further, pressing on in attack and earning another penalty corner a short time later. This time Kerrie calmly picked out Tasha to her right, and she scored with a sweeping flick beyond the keeper. Kerrie thought she had her own name on the score sheet shortly after, when she had the ball in the net after another good Dee move, but the whistle had already gone for an infringement outside the circle.
To their credit, NICS never let their heads go down and continued to grow into the game with some good attacking play leading to an increasing number of attempts on goal. However Janice was playing a captain’s role in goals, making a number of great saves as the game wore on, helped by Lisa Higgins and Georgia Ferguson in defence.
Following one such period of NICS pressure in the circle, Georgia showed why she is such a valued part of the team as she dispossessed an opposition player, drove determinedly out of the circle and set Emily away in midfield. A sweeping pass out to Tasha wide on the right cut out the NICS midfield and Tasha’s pinpoint cross to the back post was beautifully finished by Kerrie on her reverse side; a great end-to-end move by the Dee capping an excellent performance.
The final score was 4-0 to Donaghadee, a great result to build on for the season. Many thanks to Nicola Patton for umpiring and thanks to the Frisky Bear in Holywood for sponsoring the match ball. Next up for the Second is an away trip to play Saintfield 3XI on Saturday.
Preparations are well underway for the joint rugby and hockey fundraiser taking place at the rugby club on Saturday 28th October.
Tickets are now on sale from both clubs’ players plus from behind the bar in the Rugby Club. With a chance to win 4 VIP Experience Tickets at Ulster Rugby, DJ, games and fancy dress (if you dare!), it’s shaping up to be an excellent night!