Senior 3: Donaghadee LHC 1XI 3-0 Kilkeel
Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI recorded a resounding victory over league leaders Kilkeel on Saturday.
Kilkeel travelled to BGS having not only won all five of their matches so far this season but also having scored an impressive 13 unanswered goals, so this was going to be a stern test for the girls in red and green.
Donaghadee showed their attacking intent right from the off when Carolyn Scott rode a couple of challenges to carry the ball into the Kilkeel circle; the scrambling last defender just able to make the block to prevent the shot on target.
The front-foot attacking continued from Donaghadee, and they reaped the reward when Helen Hooks set up Leanna Young for a cracking finish to get the Dee up and running on the score sheet.
It was to get even better for the home side just before half time when they doubled their lead. Kerry Kennedy, imperious as always in midfield, spotted a great run from Emma McGimpsey coming in off her wing. The perfectly weighted pass met Emma at the back post, with Emma hammering the ball past the Kilkeel keeper to give Donaghadee a 2-0 lead going in to half time.
Kilkeel certainly weren’t going to give up easily and Donaghadee found themselves with a lot more defending to do in the second half. Amy Long took one for the team when she threw herself at the first time shot from a penalty corner – stopping the ball with her knee resulted in a couple of minutes to gather herself on the sideline.
With no subs, she was bravely back into the fray as Kilkeel continued to press forward. Captain Paige Reilly was the next to hit the deck as she and keeper Siobhan McAdam went sprawling to prevent yet another shot hitting the target.
Siobhan then made a brilliant, unsighted save from almost point blank range, turning the ball just round her right hand post as the shot came in through a melee of players.
Ali Stevenson was needed to tuck in to a deep midfield role to break up the attacks down the middle and, as so often this season, was in the right place at the right time to pick off the threats just outside the defensive circle.
Claire Stewart was another who was a pillar of strength in defence – she was calmness personified in the Donaghadee circle with numerous well read interceptions as Kilkeel pressed high up the pitch.
It was real backs to the wall stuff from Donaghadee with seemingly all clearances falling to a Kilkeel stick. Gradually though, the Dee started to regain their composure of the first half and the out balls started to find a red stick again.
Catherine Armstrong proved yet again to be a terrific outlet on the right with several lung bursting runs into the attacking 25 where she was able to win a number of frees to relieve some of the pressure.
With one last attack on the cards, Donaghadee piled forwards with Leanna carrying into the Kilkeel circle and, with the final touch of the game, got away a shot which escaped the Kilkeel keeper to give Donaghadee a richly deserved 3-0 victory.
Thanks to Hannah Simpson for umpiring. The 1XI are next in action on Friday evening away to Instonians, pass back 7pm at Shaw’s Bridge.
Minor Cup Round 1: NICS 1-3 Donaghadee LHC 2XI
Donaghadee Ladies’ 2XI were on their travels to Stormont this week to take on Civil Service in the first round of the Minor Cup. Having enjoyed a free Saturday the previous week, the team was eager to get back on the pitch.
Civil Service had the luxury of a number of subs, so it wasn’t going to be an easy task for Donaghadee, with fresh legs rolling on and off for the home side but Donaghadee, with passback, nonetheless set a high tempo in the early stages of the game. Up front, Sarah Harkness broke free and combined well with Emily Morris to make the first attack.
The Civil defence was on hand to clear however and, with a quick counterattack from the home side, young Dee defender Natalie Jamieson was able to make her mark not only by clearing the ball from danger, but also turning defence to attack with a trademark sprint forwards. Kerrie Turtle was on hand to ensure the attack resulted in a shot, but the Civil Service keeper thwarted the attempt and the game remained scoreless.
Back came Service with another attack, this time down the left but it was adeptly dealt with by Nicola Patton – who showed her versatility by switching her goalkeeping pads for an outfield position for this match.
The next attack for Donaghadee came from Carmen van der Schyff, showing her usual boundless energy. She burst forwards from midfield and linked with Sarah who once again forced a good save from the home keeper, with the first half finishing goalless.
Civil Service were the first to attack in the second half, when a forward found herself one on one with Deborah Gilmour. Debs wasn’t to be beaten though and she confidently took the ball away from the Donaghadee circle and found the stick of Emily lurking on the right. With swift progress up the wing, it was the turn of Tasha Paxton to take a shot; once again cleared by the Service keeper.
Donaghadee continued in this attacking vein and earned themselves a number of penalty corners but stout defending from the home side kept the score at 0-0. With mere minutes left on the clock, in swept Katie Donnelly to continue the Donaghadee attack – how brilliant to see her back in a red and green shirt after a maternity break. Just like old times, she found Kerrie as the two experienced players linked in search of a last gasp winner. It wasn’t to be though, and the final whistle went with neither team finding the back of the net.
With no extra time being played it went straight to shuttles to find the winner. Kerrie was up first for the Dee and effortlessly found the back of the net within the allotted 8 seconds. With Civil equalising, Natalie was next with a great shuttle which was agonisingly just over the 8 seconds so was not allowed.
Janice McVeigh then played her captain’s role to a tee in the Dee goal, saving the next Service shuttle to give Donaghadee the advantage, which Emily consolidated by scoring the next Dee run. With Service missing their next attempt, Tasha stepped up and showed no nerves to slide the ball safely into the back of the net to ensure a thrilling victory and Donaghadee’s progress to the second round. Thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring. The 2XI are back in league action at home to Derg Valley on Saturday, pass back 1pm.
Condolences to Ards Ladies Hockey Club
DLHC would like to pass on their condolences to Ards LHC following the passing of valued long time club member Claire Miller last week. Our thoughts are with the club and Claire’s family at this time.