Senior League 3: Instonians 1XI 0-1 Donaghadee LHC 1XI
Winning start for Donaghadee.
The Senior 3 league got under way on Friday night with Donaghadee heading to Belfast for their opening fixture away to perennial rivals Instonians.
The home team were quickly into their stride and attacking the Donaghadee circle, but some excellent work by Sarah Hooks, Natalie Jamieson and Lisa Higgins thwarted their initial attempts. A quick ball from the right then found a yellow clad forward at the back post only for Dee keeper Siobhan McAdam to deflect it wide of the post.
Donaghadee drove forward through the congested midfield, where captain Helen Hooks, Laura Boyle and Kerry Kennedy fought for space, whilst Chloe McGookin and Sarah-Louise Baird had success down the flanks as they got the ball up to Leanna McGimpsey-Young and Natasha Moore to attack the home circle.
Another Instonians attack saw Siobhan called into action with successive saves to keep them out, with Sarah sweeping a rebound away. At times it was frantic, but Donaghadee held their ground and kept the ball at bay as the first quarter ended goalless.
A quick two minute break between quarters meant only a short chat before the teams were off and running again. The play continued to be very open with both teams creating opportunities, although with a Laura dropping in slightly deeper the Donaghadee defenders successfully protected their circle.
Up front Donaghadee created chances down both flanks, with young Vicky O’Neill working well with Leanna down the right and Sarah-Louise driving in from the left. Kerry and Leanna both had shots well saved, whilst a well struck penalty corner from Natalie was deflected over by a defender’s stick. So half time arrived and despite the best efforts of both teams it remained scoreless.
Quarter three was similar to the first as Instonians again drove forward and Donaghadee defended stoutly, being pushed deep into their own half. However again some superb work by the whole team kept them out. An Inst penalty corner for a foot in the circle beat the first runner but was well saved by Siobhan, clearing her lines well. Donaghadee broke quickly and only a good save by the home keeper kept Leanna at bay. Three quarters over and still no goals.
With both teams starting to feel the pace – and the heat on a warm muggy evening – the pitch was starting to open up and Donaghadee had their best spell of the game. A couple of driving runs down the left by Sarah-Louise created chances for Leanna, Kerry and Lisa in quick succession, whilst Chloe was finding more space on the right, with Vicky getting a ball in from the right but the defenders just keeping Leanna out.
As we entered the final few minutes both teams were determined not to lose. With Laura and Helen working in tandem to break down an Instonians attack through the centre, the ball was fired quickly forward to find Leanna at halfway, her pace carrying her beyond the lunging tackle and she raced into the 23. The home keeper tried her best, but with a quick flick Leanna was round her and slotted it home, with just over a minute to go.
The whistle blew with a 1-0 win for Donaghadee to start the new season, a superb result in a very closely fought game that neither team deserved to lose; it took a terrific goal to break the deadlock. Captain Helen was delighted to get a win in her first competitive match and the player of the match went to Chloe, though all twelve certainly contributed their part.
Junior 9: DLHC 2XI 0-2 Owls 3XI
To begin their 2019/20 season Donaghadee Ladies’ 2XI welcomed an experienced Owls 3XI and, captained by Natalie Jamieson the whole team put up a strong fight right to the final whistle, with Donaghadee fielding a number of new players, including Natalie Brown and Finlay Mitchell who were making their club debut on the pitch for the Dee.
The first goal was scored early in the match by Owls, however goalkeeper Siobhan McAdam kept the ball out of the net for majority of the match, with a number of robust saves to keep the Owls attack at bay. The second and final goal was scored off the back of a short corner on the last play of the match, resulting in a 2-0 loss for Donaghadee, but a loss in score does not equate to a loss in spirit: regardless of a disappointing scoreline, the girls were not downhearted.
There was excellent effort from every player on the pitch but in particular Natalie Jamieson taking the ball from deep in the Dee defence to the top of the attacking circle only to be stopped at the last couple of yards on numerous occasions, and centre backs Toria Wightman and Jemma Thompson, making every effort to prevent the ball coming too close for comfort.
Player of the match was awarded to Jemma Thompson as a team vote. Overall the Dee girls played an excellent match and there is much to look forward to in a promising season as the new players integrate into the team, and after the match, the players extended thank yous to coach Marc Jeffrey, umpire Emily Morris and all the sideline supporters.
DLHC Juniors continues
While the numbers may have been small last week for the opening Junior training, there was no small amount of talent on show from the up and coming hockey stars of Donaghadee!
With lots of exercises to practice dribbling and passing, not to mention a lively game of ‘Kill the Keeper’* there was plenty of hard work, effort and lots of fun.
It’s not too late to come along – if you know of a girl of 11-13 who would like to get involved in hockey (regardless of experience), we’d love to see her! The sessions take place at Bangor Grammar from 6.30-7.30pm until 23rd October. Come along on Wednesday night or message email@example.com for more info
*No goalkeepers were harmed during this game…
Line the Pitch with Pounds: DLHC Fundraiser 2019/20
We’ve set ourselves the challenge of forming a row of £1 coins along the halfway line placed edge to edge from one side of the pitch to the other by the end of the season. That’s a massive 55 metres of pound coins by the end of March 2020. Will we be able to do it?
Every £1 saved will get us 2.4 centimetres closer to reaching our goal and we’d love your help! Whether you’re out shopping or coming home after a night out, pop any spare £1s to one side to help us cover that line.
You can either collect your £1 coins in a Smartie tube (proper retro!), or we’ve even got special DLHC Pound Pots for collecting your coins: just speak to any DLHC player and they’ll be happy to give you one.
All proceeds in aid of DLHC Club Funds for pitch, insurance and other running costs.