Intermediate Plate Round 2: DLHC 1XI 2-4 NICS 2XI
Welcoming Junior 3 side NICS 2XI to Bangor Grammar in the Intermediate Plate on Saturday, the 1XI of Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club was filled with youthful energy, with no fewer than five regulars of the 2XI stepping up for this game.
The opening exchanges were fairly even as both teams probed the opposing defence: Donaghadee creating a couple of good chances that went just wide, and Service doing their best to unsettle the Dee rearguard. With regular right back Amy Long suffering a hamstring injury, Floss Scott was pressed in to early service for Donaghadee, renewing her defensive partnership with fellow 2XI defender Jemma Thompson in the heart of defence.
The visitors were quick to take advantage of the defensive reshuffle with two well worked penalty corners which found their mark, with two further very well worked goals from open play to give them a 4-0 lead going in to the half time break.
With a bit of regrouping Donaghadee created much more play and opportunities in the second half: Chloe McGookin getting stuck in on the left of midfield to press high up the pitch, with Jan Morrow on the opposite side doing her best to disrupt play.
One brilliant interception allowed Jan to play a through ball to the top of the circle where Carolyn Scott pounced to rifle home an unstoppable shot past the static Service keeper to get Donaghadee off and running: 4-1 to get the comeback started!
Kerry Kennedy then had a great opportunity to double the Dee’s tally with another shot from the edge of the D but a smart save from the opposing No. 1 kept the midfielder out.
As play swung down the other end – Service’s young left winger making great progress on several occasions – Dee keeper Siobhan McAdam was forced into a couple of super saves, off her line and alert to close down the danger, sliding out to clear the ball to the safety of Paige Reilly’s stick. Laura Boyle, employed in the sweeper role on Saturday, put in some superb tackles and blocks to keep the visitors out too.
With Donaghadee weathering that storm, Vicky O’Neill and Natalie Jamieson begain to combine well on the left for Donaghadee, a through ball allowing Natalie to burst through in to the attacking circle.
With Carolyn running laterally across the goalkeeper, she picked up on Natalie’s pass and rounded the keeper before finishing the move with a reverse stick dink into the back of the net. 4-2 – was a massive late second half comeback on the cards?
Young Dee winger Erin Hamilton certainly did her best to keep getting the ball forward with some great runs up the sideline: one penetrating run only thwarted late on as Erin threatened the Service circle.
With the Dee forwards unable to cause any more problems for the Service keeper and the score finished 4-2 to NICS, with best wishes to them for the next round, and thanks to Janice McVeigh for umpiring.
It’s back to league action on Saturday with both teams playing host to Ballynahinch: the 1XI play their Firsts at 1pm, followed by the Dee’s 2XI taking on the Hinch 3XI at 2.30pm, both at Bangor Grammar.
Line the Pitch with Pounds
The next collection for our Line the Pitch with Pounds fundraiser is just round the corner, so we’d really appreciate any spare pound coins you can spare as we see if we can cover our pitch’s halfway line with coins.
Cash for Clobber
We’re also collecting all your old clothes, shoes, curtains, handbags, towels, sheets and blankets to turn into cash for our club funds: just give yours to any DLHC club member for the round up on Wednesday 29th January. Thanks in advance for your help!