Senior 3: DLHC 1XI 1-1Enniskillen
On the coldest, wettest, most thoroughly unpleasant afternoon of the season so far, Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI played out a hard-fought draw against County Fermanagh side Enniskillen last Saturday.
Donaghadee started well, probably thanks to the residual heat of the BGS changing rooms still in their bones, but they found the visiting defence in bullish form. Despite Kerry Kennedy sending probing balls forward and Sarah-Louise Baird attacking at will down the left wing, Donaghadee were finding the Enniskillen rearguard repelling most of the efforts to safety. Tasha Moore was also seeing plenty of action on the right wing but was unable to find the telling cross that was to be the one that caused the damage.
Where Donaghadee enjoyed much of the attacking pressure in the first quarter, Enniskillen started to find some joy going forward in the second quarter and they took the lead with a well worked penalty corner down low to Dee keeper Siobhan McAdam’s left hand corner, the ball somehow sneaking just inside the post to give the visitors the lead.
There were definite signs on Saturday that the Dee’s defensive unit are starting to click again, with some lovely balls round the back between Amy Long on the right, Paige Reilly and Emilia Morrow on the left as Donaghadee tried to build a platform upon which midfielders Helen Hooks and Laura Boyle could build, these two in turn playing their part in getting the ball into suitable attacking positions.
The Dee scored their goal shortly before half time when Enniskillen failed to adequately clear from their circle; Carolyn Scott pounced on the loose ball at the top of the circle to fire off a shot that evaded defending sticks, skipping off the wet surface to cross the line to draw Donaghadee level at half-time.
A slight change in formation at half time allowed Sarah Hooks to push further up, and Donaghadee were able to exert more pressure higher up the pitch. Vicky O’Neill, too, was able to get into the game more as she made several great interceptions in the attacking half to keep Enniskillen pinned in, while Lisa Higgins prowled in high midfield on the left, nipping in to the attacking circle on numerous occasions as she looked for her annual goal.
The final quarter saw more urgency from the Dee than had been apparent all match – possibly a vain attempt to regain some semblance of heat in frozen fingers and soaked skin but despite Carolyn and Kerry both hitting the post late on, the Enniskillen defence held firm to ensure honours were even at the final whistle.
1-1 the final score with huge thanks to Janice McVeigh and Mike Smyth for umpiring. The 1XI are at home this Saturday against Parkview, pass back 1pm.
Junior 9B: DLHC 2XI 0-2 Bangor 3XI
On Friday night Donaghadee LHC 2XI took on Bangor 3XI at Bangor Grammar and, despite the frost starting to appear on the pitch from pass back, the Dee girls started strongly.
Up front Molly McKee, Jan Morrow and Katie McKee used their pace and guile to give Bangor pause for thought on numerous occasions throughout the match, and they were supported brilliantly by Kerrie Turtle, Angela Parker and Erin Hamilton in the midfield.
In one attack, the ball was played out to Molly on the left, and she left the opposition in a cloud of dust thanks to her phenomenal speed and skill, keeping the ball stuck to her stick yet somehow managing to put it through Bangor’s defending legs on more than one occasion only to pick it up on the other side.
Donaghadee found themselves in the attacking circle numerous times, only to be stopped at the last minute by Bangor’s keeper, who did well to keep the Dee from crossing her line. Despite Donaghadee putting lots of pressure on the Bangor defence, unfortunately they were unable to score to reflect their play.
The team’s stamina and skill gave Bangor a difficult time, especially returning player Angela Parker who just ran, and ran, and ran. Multiple attacking attempts were made by Bangor, but they struggled to break through the strong Dee defence of Georgia Ferguson, Jemma Thompson, Lauren Bailie, Mia Park and Floss Scott.
Goalkeeper Janice McVeigh made several brilliant saves to get the ball clear but Bangor managed to break through twice with rebounds to make the final score 2-0 to them. Although the result was not in Donaghadee’s favour, this was definitely not reflected in the determination the girls showed from start to finish, and with a little bit more luck in front of goal, the wins will not be far away.
Congratulations to Lauren Bailie who was recognised as player of the match by her team mates for her excellent performance, and thank you to Carolyn Scott for umpiring and to all the Dee spectators who braved the elements to come and support the girls from the side line. The 2XI are next in action at home to NICS 4XI on Saturday, pass back 2.30pm.
Line the Pitch with Pounds
It was a fantastic start to our Line the Pitch with Pounds fundraising campaign last week when we had our first interim count (to take place on the last Wednesday of each month between now and the end of the season).
To give some context, it takes approximately two filled Smartie tubes to pay for a full training session on one Wednesday night, so when you think about how many training sessions we have, not to mention Saturday matches, it shows how vital our fundraisers are!
With over £100 raised in October, the bar has certainly been set high for November, so we need as many contributions as possible! To get involved, simply collect any spare £1 coins in a Smartie tube (optional, but you may as well get the enjoyment of the sweeties while you’re at it!) and give to any DLHC player before the last Wednesday of the month.
Totally filled, partly filled, or even just a couple of coins – all contributions will be very gratefully received as we see if we can reach our goal of creating a line of £1s from one side of our pitch to the other by the end of March.