Following the completion of 5 weeks of fitness on the hallowed turf of Crommelin Park, Donaghadee Ladies have enjoyed getting back on the astro albeit in a slightly nomadic fashion.
With their home pitch at Bangor Grammar not yet available for use, record numbers have been turning out to training at Londonderry Park, Newtownards in an unfamiliar Tuesday evening time slot as new coach Willie McAdam seeks to find his best combinations for the two teams.
With nearly a dozen new players joining the Dee ranks for the 20/21 season, there have already been four pre-season friendlies which has allowed everyone to get a run out in the red and green. The 1XI faced stiff opposition against Ballymena 2XI last week, going down 5-1 in a game that was less one-sided than the score suggests.
A torrid second quarter saw the Dee concede 3 in quick succession and while they were able to pull one back in the final quarter, it was too late to take the comprehensive look off the score line. The Firsts are back in action on Saturday away to North Down 2XI in a game they will want to use to improve on previous performance.
The 2XI have been busy too with plenty of action over the last couple of weeks: a draw against NICS 4XI, a 2-0 victory over neighbours Bangor 4XI and a narrow defeat away to Saintfield 3XI adding to the full range of results. Each game has been really competitive with the team improving each time so it should prove to be an exciting season for the Seconds
Ulster Hockey have recently released the league fixtures for 2020/21 and both Donaghadee teams get underway on 26th September, all being well. The 1XI will welcome Instonians while the 2XI are scheduled to return to Playball, Stormont to take on NICS 4XI. Full fixtures are available at http://www.DonaghadeeLHC.co.uk.
In other welcome news the pitch at BGS should be ready to within the next week or two, so not only will training return to the usual Wednesday night, 7.30-9pm slot, both teams should be able to fulfil their league fixtures in the right place at the right time.