DLHC XI 0-4 Ulster O50s
League matches may be drawing to a close for both Donaghadee Ladies’ teams (the 1XI have one remaining fixture to play when they host PSNI, date to be confirmed, and the 2XI are looking likely to have one fixture left too, opponents/time/place to be determined) but the Dee were delighted to welcome the Ulster O50s to Bangor Grammar last week for a friendly as the provincial side prepare for the Interpros to be held in Dublin at the end of April.
Club captain Kerry Kennedy had a mixture of experience and youth to choose from for this match, with Dee keeper Siobhan McAdam turning out for the red and green in the first half before joining her Ulster colleagues in the second, and new recruits Erin Hamilton, Victoria Wightman and Molly and Katie McKee enjoying their first run out against the illustrious opponents.
Donaghadee started brightly with Hannah McAdam threatening early on from a Dee penalty corner, and Molly, Katie and Erin all charging forward at will. With Kerry partnered in midfield by the ever-impressive Helen Hooks (warmly recognised in the Ulster captain’s post-match praise of the Dee), Donaghadee certainly asked questions of the Ulster back division in the early stages as the visitors settled into the game.
As Ulster began to find their feet, Ali Stevenson, Paige Reilly and Amy Long started to come under increasing pressure in the heart of defence with Ulster impressive in their passing and movement. Their clinical finishing was also something to behold, with Donaghadee unable to close down two snap shots quickly enough to prevent the rattle of the backboard.
Undaunted, Donaghadee did their best to find an outlet with Vicky O’Neill probing down the right and Helen driving her team forward down the left at will as they tried to break and create a few problems for the Ulster defence.
Experience won the day in this case though with Ulster playing their way out of trouble with 1-2 passes and impressive movement off the ball, scoring another two to round off what was a very enjoyable evening’s hockey.
Thanks to Janice McVeigh for umpiring for the Dee and to the Ulster squad for the friendly – best of luck from all of us at DLHC for the tournament!
Hockettes on the Piste 2019
The fourth biennial hockey ski trip took place at the end of last month with nine club members making the trip to Alpe d’Huez for a week in the snow. With Alp d’Huez a totally new destination for all nine (previous trips have been to Sauze d’Oulx, La Plagne and Val Thorens) it was a voyage of discovery both on and off the slopes.
Marcel’s Farm Purple Run proved a hit with beginners/experienced and skiers/boarder alike – the purpose built 1.2 mile piste of banked corners, boardercross style features, gates, a small half pipe, tunnel and a cow slalom course all adding to the fun, though no one was brave enough to try out the freestyle rails!
While snow was a little patchy down at a mere 1200m (4000ft) above sea level, there were certainly no such concerns up at Pic Blanc (3300m/10,800ft). The panoramic viewpoint offered breathtakingly stunning views of the snow-capped Alps all around, and also marked the beginning of the only run down; big shout out to Ali and Sarah-Louise (first time on skis, no less) who set off down the longest black run in Europe… Rumour has it that not all of the run was done in an upright position but there are only two people who can verify that and well, what goes on tour, stays on tour, apparently!
There was plenty on offer once the pistes had closed too – live music, Irish pubs, fondues, dancing on tables in ski boots and (shh, don’t tell mum) that one nightclub that stayed open until 5am… Memories galore and friendships (re)cemented. Here’s to the 2019 Pisters, Jill, Emily, Sarah-Louise, Tasha, Ali, Kerrie, Kerry, Rachel and Carolyn and roll on 2021…