Senior 3: Cookstown 2-1 DLHC 1XI
The 1XI of Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club put in a massive shift against league leaders Cookstown on Saturday, going down only narrowly 2-1.
Cookstown came down from Senior 2 at the end of last season and on current league form – 7 played, 5 won with 28 goals scored before Saturday’s match – must be keen favourites to return to the higher league.
Donaghadee’s keeper Siobhan McAdam epitomised Saturday’s entire team effort with an outstanding display in goal, two early saves made cleanly and cleared wide away from danger setting the tone for the afternoon, and a performance that drew the plaudits of the home team after the game.
Cookstown managed to break down the Dee defence midway through the first quarter however when they created space for an attacker to run on to the ball and a swinging shot was duly despatched to make the score 1-0.
As the second quarter got underway the Dee midfield began to get a bit of a foothold in the game, with Kerry Kennedy and Jan Morrow dovetailing in the middle to break up play and feed the Dee’s young wide players Vicky O’Neill and Erin Hamilton.
Some typical stick trickery from Kerry in the attacking circle earned the Dee a penalty corner and that was converted with feeling by Carolyn Scott to bring Donaghadee level going into the half time break.
Cookstown retook the lead in the third quarter when good movement from their forwards left Donaghadee out of position to create the space required to get the shot away.
Donaghadee dug in however and the defence continued to show huge amounts of grit and determination to keep the home side at bay.
Paige Reilly and Amy Long in the full back positions took charge of their circle with two commanding performances and a super display of team work and communication.
Laura Boyle too, playing deep in an unfamiliar sweeper role, tackled anything and everything that moved, making several great blocks and clearances as the last line of defence to get the ball away from danger.
Cookstown continued to press for the goal that would give them some daylight but the harrying and hassling by the Dee ensured that balls were not going to home sticks and attacking passes were nullified.
Chloe McGookin and Tasha Moore in the wide midfield positions both played a tremendous role in that respect, snapping into tackles and closing down the channels as the home side tried to find a way through down the wings to no avail.
Donaghadee did have the odd chance to draw level late on but the shots were either just wide or well saved, leaving the final score 2-1 to Cookstown. It may have been a loss for Donaghadee but there were some huge positives that the girls will draw on for their upcoming matches.
It’s a break from league action for the 1XI as they travel to Magherafelt to play Rainey 2XI on Saturday in the Intermediate Cup while the 2XI take on Ards 4XI in the Minor Cup this Wednesday evening at BGS before welcoming Saintfield 3XI, also at home, on Saturday, passback there 2.30pm.
Line the Pitch With Pounds
As the end of the month approaches, so too does the second count up of the £1 coins that all club members have been asked to collect as we see if we can cover the halfway line from one side of the pitch to the other with pound coins.
With over £100 collected in time for October’s count, the bar was set incredibly high but we’re hopeful of matching or bettering November’s total.
November’s count will take place on Wednesday evening at BGS so to be in with a shout of getting next year’s fees paid, make sure you bring your pounds to go into the draw. For non playing participants, why not give your contributions to your favourite player to help them in the big end of season draw?