Senior 3: DLHC 1XI 2-3 Bangor 1XI
It was back to business with a bang last Saturday for Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI with a 5 goal thriller against neighbours Bangor.On a frigidly cold day there was plenty of free-flowing hockey to keep the cockles of the large band of home supporters warmed.
Donaghadee enjoyed some good early attacking pressure when Ruth Coulter made excellent progress down the right. She crossed brilliantly and Katie McKee was unlucky not to connect cleanly – the shot just close enough to allow the visiting keeper to clear.
Bangor were swift to counter and Dee keeper Siobhan McAdam was on her toes to repel several shots in succession with Ali Stevenson – a rock in the heart of defence all afternoon – making numerous split second interceptions to clear to safety. Amy Long too made a number of decisive clearances wide – no nonsense there!
It was Donaghadee who made the breakthrough through Captain Fantastic Kerry Kennedy (who else?) Having already warmed her stick with a couple of stinging shots from the top of the circle, Kerry was fed a great ball through from Laura Boyle and as she drove to the circle from off to the right, Donaghadee’s leader unleashed an unstoppable shot low to the keeper’s left:1-0 to the Dee.
The young Bangor forwards then struck with a well taken goal just before half time to level things up.
Donaghadee were caught totally cold when the second half opened; Bangor stringing several passes together to put the ball in the back of the net virtually before Donaghadee had touched it to go 2-1 up.
Undeterred Donaghadee stuck to the game plan and had several lovely breaks down the left with Paige Reilly provided the platform for Sarah-Louise Baird to shoot forward at every opportunity. Lisa Higgins too made numerous forays forward, connecting with Vicky O’Neill as Donaghadee searched for the equaliser.
It came through a well executed penalty corner with Carolyn Scott pinging an inch perfect strike off the inside of the keeper’s left post to bring Donaghadee back on level terms.
Bangor fought back though and bagged the winner in the closing moments but it was a much more cohesive performance from Donaghadee than of late and they now look forward to playing North Down 2XI away in the first round of the Intermediate Plate on Saturday.
Thanks not only to Mike Smyth for umpiring but also to the hardy band of supporters who cheered long and loud for the Dee the whole way through, and to The Yachstman in Donaghadee for sponsoring the match ball.
Junior 8B: CI 5XI 2-2 DLHC 2XI
Donaghadee Ladies 2s welcomed CI to Bangor Grammar on Saturday as the second match of the day for the Club on home turf.
Donaghadee started strongly after a great team briefing from Captain on the day Natalie Jamieson, with no sign of any Christmas sluggishness from any of the girls as the the game underway.
Up front Katie and Molly McKee and Erin Hamilton showed lots of experience for their young age as they pilled on the pressure. Rebecca Bolton, Vicky O’Neill and Katie Donnelly too covered plenty of ground with sterling work, showing some lovely passing and tackling.
It was great to welcome back Deborah Gilmore into the heart of defence and, with Carmen lending her experience in midfield, Donaghadee dealt very efficiently with lots of the forward play from the CI attack.
Katie D fashioned a fantastic chance in the circle midway through the first half and she took the opportunity well to give Donaghadee the lead. After a well deserved high five from her fellow players, the ball was reset ready for the whistle to restart play.
CI began to exert more pressure, making a number of forward advances throughout the first half and getting the odd break. Mia Park, Captain Natalie and Victoria Wightman had the defensive wall well ready and they put in some lovely tackles and showed calm control on the ball to clear the attempts back up the field. Their free hits all were taken with determination and precision and that allowed Donaghadee to progress.
CI were determined to make a game of it though, and they were able to sneak a number of shots in but keeper Siobhan McAdam was in the right place to clear the ball to thwart the advancing pressure. She along with Vicky and Katie were possibly well warmed up having played in the previous match! Just before half time CI equalised through a penalty corner to send the teams level into the half time break.
The second half was very similar play to the first with both teams showing and playing some fine hockey with end to end stuff. After Donaghadee defended two penalty corners well, CI squeezed the ball into the corner of the net to take the lead. Not out of it yet, the Donaghadee girls played their red socks off and young Molly got on to the score sheet with a mighty fine equaliser to bring the score to two all.
With 2 minutes signalled by the umpires the action was end to end with both teams searching for the winner but it wasn’t to be. The final whistle blew and the Dee girls were happy to secure a point from a well fought draw, thanks to a huge effort from each and every player on the field.
Many thanks to Jon Scott for umpiring, to so many of the Firsts who stayed on to support, and to the loyal band of Dee spectators – it was much appreciated and shows the strength of the Donaghadee hockey family, flying the red and green flag to start the second half of the season.
DLHC 2XI play Armagh 2XI at home on Saturday, passback 1pm.