Senior 3: DLHC 1XI 4-5 Kilkeel
On a bright and pleasantly warm Saturday afternoon, Donaghadee Ladies 1XI welcomed Kilkeel to Bangor Grammar.
Coming off the back of a last gasp 1-0 win over Instonians last Friday night, the team were in good spirits for pass back and it showed.
Donaghadee dominated the opening quarter, with plenty of go forward ball and numerous penalty corners; Tasha Moore coming closest when she pinged a rebound off the keeper’s right post.
The pressure finally told when, having had no luck shooting flat and low against the visiting keeper, Donaghadee changed tack and immediately reaped the reward with Tasha sending a ball crashing into the roof of the net from wide right; a terrific finish to give Donaghadee the lead.
Number 2 followed shortly after with Leanna McGimpsey-Young giving Donaghadee a 2-0 cushion after the first quarter.
The break galvanised Kilkeel and they caught Donaghadee very much on the hop as the second quarter opened; the visitors running the ball virtually unchallenged into the Dee goal before adding a second in quick succession to level the score at 2-2.
Captain Fantastic Helen Hooks then grabbed the game by the scruff when she went on a lung-busting run from her own 25 down the right flank. Evading several tackles, on she carried before unselfishly passing to Leanna in the circle, the Dee forward finishing to put Donaghadee back in the lead: 3-2 at half time.
Back came Kilkeel in the third quarter and Donaghadee’s defence, marshalled by Paige Reilly in the centre, needed to be on their mettle: Laura Boyle breaking up the attacks and Lisa Higgins intercepting on the left and Chloe McGookin on the right as the Dee tried to defend their lead.
Dee keeper Siobhan McAdam made a super double parry but with Donaghadee unable to clear the ball from their circle, the ball just kept coming back and eventually one Kilkeel shot struck gold and back we were, level again: 3-3.
Kilkeel then stretched their lead to 5-3 when they took advantage of a melee at a penalty corner midway through the third quarter but there were signs that Donaghadee were trying to get back into it.
An aerial clearance from the Kilkeel defence was picked out of the air sublimely by Sarah Hooks to get Donaghadee going forward again, while Kerry Kennedy was starting to pull the strings on the right of midfield, winning frees deep into the attacking 25 and picking off passes to her forwards.
Following good work down the left flank by Sarah-Louise Baird, young Dee forward Vicky O’Neill was on hand to pop the ball in from close range at the back post to bring the score back to 5-4.
Kilkeel were able to hang on to the one goal advantage however and 5-4 was how it finished; a breathtaking game with goals galore in which all 12 Dee players gave their all. Thanks to Carolyn Scott for umpiring. The 1XI are next in action on Saturday when they welcome Derg Valley to BGS, pass back 1pm.
Junior 9: South Antrim 2-1 DLHC 2XI
The second match of the season for the 2XI of Donaghadee LHC was played away to South Antrim 3XI at Friends School, Lisburn, with the sun splitting the trees on a gorgeous late September day.
The team started off on the back foot, travelling as they did with only 10 players, but this was most definitely not reflected in the quality of the game played.
South Antrim had plenty of attacking intent in the first two quarters, with numerous shots at the Donaghadee goal only to be stopped by goal keeper Janice McVeigh who was in terrific form, ably helped by a strong defensive performance from Mia Park, Toria Wightman, Jemma Thompson and Floss Scott.
With the scoreline still 0-0 going into the final quarter, play was end to end with South Antrim finally opening the scoring before Donaghadee responded with a goal in the next play of the match, with Erin Hamilton getting on the score sheet and recording the team’s first goal of the season.
Unfortunately South Antrim managed to sneak a second goal just before the final whistle, resulting in a 2-1 loss for the Dee girls, but the whole team played an amazing match, allowing only 2 goals in when they were competing at a numerical disadvantage against a strong South Antrim side.
The team’s Player of the Match was awarded to Janice McVeigh for her excellent skills at keeping the ball out of our goal for the majority of the game, and she thanked Marc Jeffry for umpiring.
The 2XI are next in action at home to NICS 4XI on Saturday, pass back 2.30pm.