Junior League 8A: DLHC 2XI 1-1 NICS 5XI
On a bitterly cold Saturday, Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 2XI welcomed Civil Service 5ths to Bangor Grammar. The team has been on a good run of late, including a recent cup win over Civil Service 4ths.
The Dee started the match off brightly, with Emily Morris, Vicky O’Neill, Katie Donnelly and Carmen Van Der Schyff linking well together in midfield to get an early foothold in the game.
Sarah Harkness had an opportunity to get an early goal, picking the ball up at the attacking 25 and driving into the circle, but was unlucky to see her effort go just wide of the post.
As the first half continued Donaghadee grew in confidence, with Tasha Paxton and Kerrie Turtle pushing forward in attack, threatening the Civil Service goal. The team looked threatening all over the pitch, sustaining good pressure and remaining in the Civil Service half through quick pressing of the ball and good link-up play right from defence to attack.
From a Donaghadee penalty corner, Kerrie was able to pass the ball quickly to Sarah, who swept the ball into the Civil Service net. Unfortunately, the ball didn’t hit the back board and was disallowed. However, the team finished the first half full of confidence with Civil Service having failed to really test Janice McVeigh in the Dee goal.
The team started the second half as they finished the first, and it wasn’t too long before the Dee’s patience paid off. The attack once again working well together, Tasha found Emily in the circle with a great through ball, with Emily calmly slotting the ball past the keeper to put the Dee one up.
As the second half wore on, the Dee defence of Nicky O’Neill, Deborah Gilmore, Georgia Ferguson and Natalie Jamieson found themselves increasingly in action to repel the Civil Service attacks.
Unfortunately the girls were unable to ward off a prolonged period of pressure, and the Civil Service drew level. Undeterred, the team continued to fight back to try to score a late winner.
Nicky was able to pick out the midfield and attack thanks to her defence-splitting passes, while Deborah, Georgia and Natalie pushed forward from the back. Indeed Donaghadee won a late penalty corner and Katie was unfortunate to see her shot slip just wide of the post.
The game finished 1-1. Thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring. The 2XI’s next game will be in the second round of the Minor Cup at home to Coleraine 3rds, pass back 2.30pm on Saturday, and captain Janice McVeigh can certainly take heart from this match and in the team’s recent run of form.
The 1XI continue their league action at home to PSNI on Saturday, pass back 1pm.