Intermediate Plate Round 1: DLHC 1XI 0-0 Pegasus 3XI (lost 3-0 on shuttles)
The draw for the next round of the Intermediate Plate does not lie, and it will be Pegasus 3XI who progress, but it took three well placed shuttle runs to see them through after a resounding defensive performance from Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI on Saturday.
Facing a Pegasus side packed with ex Ulster and Irish players, Donaghadee lined up missing forwards Leanna Young, Emma McGimpsey and Catherine Armstrong, but they did have Kerrie Turtle stepping in to add her experience up front for the Dee.
Much of the first half saw Pegasus piling the pressure on the Donaghadee defence, with Donaghadee keeper Siobhan McAdam making several stunning saves to keep the visitors at bay. Claire Stewart and Paige Reilly were also resolute in the heart of defence with superbly timed challenges and well read interceptions.
At the other end, Carolyn Scott forced a great save from the Pegasus keeper when her shot from wide left looked like it was going in off the far post only for a fully extended leg to tip it just wide.
The chances were scant though and Donaghadee took the opportunity to regroup at half time. The jelly beans did the trick and the Dee enjoyed a purple patch early in the second half; Kerry Kennedy with a great chance after superb work from Helen Hooks on the left allowed Carolyn to lay the ball off to an unmarked Kerry at the top of the circle – the resulting shot going just wide of the left post.
With Pegasus taking their turn to attack, Amy Long read play brilliantly to make several superb interceptions, with Lisa Higgins and Ali Stevenson both digging in to protect the back three.
With minutes remaining Sarah-Louise Baird burst forward, carrying the ball magnificently in her two week old kit, and Emily Morris had a great last chance in the attacking circle but the final whistle went with the score level at 0-0.
With no extra time, it was straight to shuttles and Pegasus came into their own; the forwards doing their bit and their keeper ensuring the clean sheet was kept to make sure they progressed to the next stage. Thanks to Mike Smith for umpiring and to City Electrical Factors, Bangor for sponsoring the match ball. Best of luck to Pegasus 3XI in the next round of the Plate.
The 1XI now have a week off before playing South Antrim on Saturday 10th February.
Junior League 8: NICS 5XI 2-6 DLHC 2XI
Donaghadee Seconds were back in action for the first time since before Christmas on Saturday when they took on NICS 5s away at Stormont.
From passback, both teams were running out strong, and both determined to get some points on the board. Sarah-Louise Baird (now starting to get the cost-per-wear of the new kit down a bit) and Sarah Harkness made some beautiful interlinking passes up the middle of the pitch, putting pressure on the NICS back line, which resulted in Sarah getting a shot past the home keeper and into the back of the net to make it 1-0 to Donaghadee.
NICS then tried their luck in an attack of their own but defenders Nicola Patton and Lisa Alexander were quick to keep them out.
At half time, after a slight reshuffle and a team talk, Donaghadee came flying out of the blocks into the second half. Sarah-Louise was able to break into the circle and take a shot only for the keeper to save it but the rebound fell in front of Vicky O’Neill, who popped the ball into the back of the net. 2-0 to the Dee. Shortly after this goal, Natalie Jamieson and Deborah Gilmore made some brilliant passes to find Emily Morris just on the edge of the circle, and she was quick to make it 3.
Sarah added another to the score board when she picked up a cross field ball, sending it into the corner of the net to give Donaghadee a comfortable cushion. As NICS tried again to attack, Georgia Ferguson did incredibly well when dealing with the pressure, winning a couple of frees as she pushed further up the pitch.
NICS then scored two consecutive goals but that wasn’t going to stop the Dee girls, who were determined not to give up. After some strong passes down the left hand side between Carmen Van Der Schyff and Natalie, Sarah-Louise was able to add goal number 5 for the red and green.
Sarah then finished off a great game of hockey between the two sides, scoring goal number 6 and bagging herself a hat-trick. Final score 6-2 to Donaghadee. Thanks to Carolyn Scott for umpiring and the supporters who came to cheer on the girls in what was a brilliant game of hockey. The 2XI are next in action at home to CI 5XI, pass back 1pm at BGS.