Senior 3: Enniskillen 3-2 DLHC 1XI
With the winter weather biting hard, Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI made the journey west on Saturday to take on Enniskillen in the latest Senior 3 match.
The two teams played out a 1-1 draw when they met at Bangor Grammar in October, and there was a single point between the two in the league table before passback so all indications suggested it should be another tight match.
In extremity-numbingly cold (and at times, very wet) conditions the opening exchanges were somewhat sluggish, with the ball running slowly on a sodden pitch and players struggling to keep hands warm.
Slightly unusually, Donaghadee were quick out of the blocks, winning an early penalty corner to test the home defence. With the initial strike parried by the Enniskillen keeper, Tasha Moore pounced on the rebound to put Donaghadee a goal to the good.
In a tale of penalty corners, Enniskillen then scored two from their set piece to give themselves the advantage going in to the half time break, with the Dee determined to come away with something to show for the long drive.
The second half was an open affair with both teams having chances, but good keeping at both ends, and the odd wayward shot missing its mark, kept the score as it was until deep into the third quarter.
With Donaghadee creating an attack down the left, a good cross found Vicky O’Neill at the top of the attacking circle and with time to take a shot, her well placed strike evaded the Enniskillen keeper to nestle in the far corner of the net: 2-2.
With conditions not improving, it looked very much as though proceedings were heading for a 2-2 draw – probably a fair result on balance of play – until an unmarked Enniskillen player popped up at the Dee back post to sweep home an unbelievably late winner – the home team bagging the winner with less than a minute on the clock. FInal score 3-2 to Enniskillen with thanks to them for providing two umpires and the most convivial after match tea.
The 1XI are next in action on Friday night with a trip to Ballyclare to play Parkview, while the 2XI head to Stormont to take on NICS 5XI, pass back in that match 4pm.