Senior 3: Enniskillen 3-0 Donaghadee LHC 1XI
Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI’s search for a win goes on after they were beaten 3-0 away to Enniskillen on Saturday.
The team’s dismal luck with injuries this season reads almost like a grim rendition of Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes: two facial injuries, a dodgy hip, a knee that’s currently in kit form, torn ankle ligaments and a broken foot have meant that it’s been a brave while since Captain Kerry Kennedy has had a full 1XI squad to choose from, with a number of players battling through illness and injury to turn out each week.
It is however testament to the strength in depth Donaghadee has been cultivating over the last number of years that the 2XI has provided a constant supply of players willing and able to step up when called upon without their team having to concede any matches. The young ones have certainly taken their places when required and Saturday saw Mia Parkes and new recruit Toria Wightman joining the merry band of travellers in this mid-table clash.
With Kerry Kennedy and Carolyn Scott each umpiring half the match, experience on the pitch was provided by the platform at the back of Amy Long, Ali Stevenson and Paige Reilly with Helen Hooks her usual dynamic self and steadying influence Lisa Higgins in midfield. Up front it was great to see both Leanna McGimpsey-Young and Hannah McAdam getting back into the groove after their own respective illness/injury layoffs.
The scoreline may look comprehensive but it certainly doesn’t tell the tale of the numerous one on one saves that Siobhan McAdam made bravely to ensure Enniskillen didn’t make it any more, the Dee keeper thwarting several gilt-edged opportunities as the home forwards created a number of dangerous counterattacks.
Thanks to Enniskillen for providing the post-match refreshments. The 1XI will welcome Derg Valley to BGS on Saturday as they look to improve on recent results, passback at 1pm.
Minor Plate Round 2: DLHC 2XI 2-1 Saintfield 3XI
After last season’s success in reaching the semi-finals of the plate, Donaghadee 2XI were keen to get off to a good start for this year’s competition – facing Saintfield 3XI in the second round on Saturday 19th January at home. Despite being down a few players through injury Donaghadee fielded a strong albeit not-used-to-playing-together team for the match.
The girls got off to a great start with centre mid Vicky O’Neill pushing up and linking well with Erin Hamilton out on right wing – a great run from Erin saw her pass the ball to an awaiting Cat Park who managed to get a clean shot on goal and put the Dee 1-0 up.
Play continued with screens Beth Long ensuring the ball was kept up the pitch and Emily Morris making some fantastic cross field runs to distribute the ball (despite having a bad back – she was enjoying herself too much to give in to it!) Ruth Coulter out on left wing proved true to her nickname of the ‘pocket rocket’ – covering nearly every square inch of the pitch during the game – and on one of her solo runs up the left of the pitch, she gave a pinpoint pass to Kerrie Turtle who was able to put the ball past the keeper for 2-0 to Donaghadee before half time.
Saintfield were not about to give up the fight though and came back strongly for the second half. Defenders Georgia Ferguson, Natalie Jamieson and Deborah Gilmour had their work cut out keeping Saintfield at bay, but unfortunately a break from the visitors saw the Donaghdee defence outnumbered and they managed to slip one past goalkeeper Nicola Patton.
Undeterred the Dee continued to defend brilliantly, with Nicola having some fantastic saves (despite – or perhaps thanks to – celebrating her birthday every night the previous week!) With Georgia and Deborah having some great runs out of defence and Natalie playing her trademark game of cracking hit outs and solo runs the Dee fought until full time and kept the score at 2-1.
The girls are looking forward to their next round in the plate to be played next month. Huge thanks to Janice McVeigh for umpiring and the side line supporters. The 2XI make the short hop to play Bangor 3XI on Saturday – pass back is at 2.30pm and all support is welcome!
And there’s more…
Post Match Social
All players and supporters are welcome to join the teams back in Donaghadee for a few refreshments of your choice on Saturday afternoon after the matches – see you in Gracies!