Senior League 3: Derg Valley 1-6 DLHC 1XI
Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI were on the road to Derg Valley on Saturday, and the long drive did not affect performance!
Having had a bit of a slow start, the 1XI were spurred into action when Derg took advantage of a counter-attack and scored from a straight strike penalty corner within the opening 10 minutes. The goal only served to give Dee the impetus for a win and within minutes Donaghadee were reaping the rewards with a number of quick succession corners of their own.
It was 1-1 when Carolyn Scott scored off the back of a quick drive and only a few minutes later, Kerry Kennedy was wanting in on the action after a penalty corner opened up the opportunity for a great goal lifted right into the net. Carolyn’s day was made when she hit an absolute blinder, lifting past the keeper into the top right hand corner of the net.
The celebrations had already begun when she was awoken from her goal-scoring dream by the umpire clarifying that she had already blown her whistle. No second goal for Scott… for now. But not long after, another short corner opportunity gave a second goal of the day for Carolyn with a straight strike right through the defence.
Laura Boyle, gaining in confidence on the ball with every match, took a run down the right wing and arched perfectly into the corner with a great chance on goal, but the next sound of the ricocheting backboard came from Helen Hooks who, receiving delivery of a ball in from Sarah-Louise Baird driving on the right, snuck the ball neatly past the keeper.
Poor Paige Reilly suffered a gel nail injury shortly before the end of the first half after a strong tackle caused her to lose her navy sparkly gel thumb, together with half the under-lying finger nail. We are however pleased to report that she is being a big strong girl about it!
With the second half underway, and a surge of energy from Derg, Amy Long, Paige and Tasha Moore linked up perfectly in the back line and were forthright in their defence of Derg’s attacks down the line, leaving keeper Siobhan McAdam a virtual spectator for long periods. The delivery from the backs in defence mode, with some lovely passes round the back, enabled the midfield/forwards to execute some perfect linked phases of play, particularly Lisa Higgins and Leanna McGimpsey-Young who were reading the match perfectly.
Donaghadee’s dominance continued when Sarah-Louise took advantage of a long corner, making a drive through the centre into the circle to finish off her own move by sweeping the ball past the helpless Derg keeper and into the net. As with last week, naysayers claimed it was an OG due to a deflection off a Derg stick, but with none of the Derg players looking to claim it, Baird is taking the goal as her own; 5-1 to the Dee.
The second half drama was not only limited to the goals. Paige was done right out of her position for the sympathy vote when Laura, having gone in for a tackle, took a hit to the hand, and Amy received a particularly bad blow to the ankle, having to come off the pitch after what was a great performance by her, with Laura then stepping up to drop back into defence for the last 10 minutes.
In the dying moments of the game, Leanna provided a lovely cross for Emma McGimpsey-Young who was ‘queen of positioning’: without moving her stick an inch, she got to get the deflection at the back post to pop in straight to the goal. 6-1 to the Dee!
A fantastic result for Donaghadee which puts the 1XI top of the table in Senior 3. Long may it continue! Thank you very much to Sarah Boal for kindly volunteering to umpire for us. The 1XI are next in action when they play Malone at home next Saturday, pass back 1pm.
The 2XI are away to CI 5XI in their second league match, pass back at CIYMS is at 2.30pm on Saturday.