Senior League 3: DLHC 1XI 3-1 Enniskillen
Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI welcomed Enniskillen to BGS for the first home match of the 2018/19 season.
Donaghadee were missing defensive stalwarts Paige Reilly and Claire Stewart but in testament to the club’s burgeoning strength in depth, Tasha Moore joined regular Amy Long at the back, with midfielder Alison Stevenson showing her versatility by dropping back into the centre of defence.
They were given time to settle into their unfamiliar surroundings thanks to the initial stages being dominated by Donaghadee going forward, with captain Kerry Kennedy pulling the strings in the middle of the pitch: pinpoint passes going left and right encouraging Sarah-Louise Baird and Helen Hooks to burst forward at will.
A great pass found forward Carolyn Scott in the attacking circle and she managed to find enough space to unleash an absolute bobbler of a reverse stick shot. With sufficient air to positively dribble over the last defender’s stick, the complete lack of pace thoroughly wrong footed the keeper and trickled inside the far post in slow motion to give Donaghadee an early lead.
As the half wore on, the visitors began to establish more of a foothold in the game as they went in search of the equaliser, and Donaghadee needed to be on their mettle to thwart the danger. Laura Boyle was on hand to break up several forays down the right, while Tasha was reading play brilliantly on the left to turn defence to attack each time the ball came within her reach.
Donaghadee keeper Siobhan McAdam was vocal in organising her defence but Enniskillen’s attacking purple patch continued after the half time break and a goalmouth scramble saw the line breached: 1-1.
Donaghadee were quick to get back on the attack however, with both Emma and Leanna McGimpsey-Young firing off shots to test the visiting keeper. With the Dee now beginning to exert more pressure on the Skins defence, a number of penalty corners were awarded and the red and green took full advantage to take a 2-1 lead.
Sarah-Louise is thoroughly convinced that the ball crossed the line from her strike and Kerry is adamant that she got the final touch to take it beyond the keeper and you wouldn’t really like to fall out with either, so we’ll give both the credit and say it was a fine joint effort to put the team ahead.
With Enniskillen finding it difficult to clear the ball – thanks in no small part to sterling effort by Lisa Higgins who seemed to stop every ball that came near her in the middle of the pitch – Donaghadee were able to add a third to put the result beyond doubt.
There was no mistaking the goalscorer this time: Carolyn, receiving the ball with her back to goal in the circle, provided Kerry with the layoff she needed to fire off an inch perfect shot that evaded the keeper’s outstretched leg to nestle just inside the upright.
A fitting finale to the match for Donaghadee and no mean feat against a team whose unbeaten run stretched back 18 months! Many thanks to Jon Scott for umpiring duties. The 1XI are next in action when they head way out west to take on Derg Valley on Saturday.
Junior League 8B: DLHC 2XI 3-2 Saintfield 3XI
Saturday 29th saw Donaghadee 2XI kick off their assault on the Junior 8B league against Saintfield 3XI. After a promising season last year the girls are aiming for a top position in the league this year and confidence has been boosted by the return of so many past players who have re-joined the ranks, it was great to see them all out in force for the first match of the season.
Saintfield had passback and made quick work of their first attack which was ably defended by Siobhan McAdam in goals and her team of defenders – Georgia Ferguson, Natalie Jamieson and Hannah McAdam. Excellent defending resulted in some good end to end play with well thought out distribution from the screens Rebecca Bolton and Rowena Moore – especially given that they were both playing out of their usual positions.
Great teamwork from the back saw the ball carried forward into Saintfield’s circle where Kerrie Turtle used it to win a penalty corner. Having practised these at training during the week, Vicky O’Neill stepped up to give an accurate push out to an awaiting Hannah at the top of the circle who executed a clean shot to secure Donaghadee the first goal of the match and a 1-0 lead.
Play continued and Saintfield fought back with a quick break pushing into Donaghadee’s circle and managing to sneak an equalising goal in. Not content with a draw, the Dee girls continued on the attack, Vicky having some great tackles and passes in the centre to Emily Morris, who produced a terrific run up the pitch (with unbelievable energy given she had taken part in the Bangor 10k earlier that day!) and gave a perfect pass to Kerrie who was able to get in a shot on goal resulting in the Dee going 2-1 up.
More great passing ensued with some lovely linking between Carmen van der Schyff and Connie Hampton, along with Tasha Paxton putting in the miles to drive the ball up for frantic attacks on the Saintfield defence. Saintfield were not backing down though and were relentless in their counterattacking. Nailbiting to watch but Natalie and Georgia remained reliable and calm as ever in defence, clearing balls to the ever waiting sticks of Rebecca and Rowena who were both able to work together ensuring the balls continued up the pitch towards the forwards. Unfortunately Saintfield broke through the defence with a cracking high shot to the back of the net equalising the score to 2-2.
Half-time saw a good few changes on the pitch with Carmen doing a great job of stepping up to the challenge of defence on the left to allow Hannah her more favourable position of a forward. Vicky proved herself a valuable asset in centre midfield, distributing the balls for Emily, Tasha and Connie (always on the back post!) to pick up and continue several attacks on the opposition.
Play continued evenly until a few minutes before full time when Tasha made a heroic run up the right wing, bringing the ball along the back line and with a textbook move passed to Hannah’s waiting stick who duly converted it into a goal putting the final score at 3-2 to Donaghadee.
Considering this was the 2XI first league match and players are starting to get settled into the team, everyone gave 100% effort, working brilliantly together. Most impressive was the willingness of all to put themselves ‘anywhere they are needed’ and showing the true meaning of a team sport.
Many thanks to Mike Smyth for umpiring, the seconds have no match next week and resume their league fixtures on Saturday 13th October away to CI 5ths.
Wine-Tasting Evening a huge success
The first fundraiser of the season, the DLHC Wine-Tasting Evening, was held in Donaghadee Sailing Club on Saturday and thanks to the expertise of wine expert Angie Alexander, was a resounding success.
Not only do we all now know a bit more about a number of really interesting wines, but we also raised £800 for club funds so a huge thank you to everyone who played their part.
Match Ball Sponsorship
We still have a few home matches available so secure your slot for just £50 today – speak to Leanna McGimpsey-Young for more info.