Senior 3: DLHC 1XI 1-3 Instonians
It was a disappointing – and ultimately frustrating – start to the league campaign for the 1XI of Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club on Saturday thanks to a 3-1 defeat at home to Instonians.
The team started brightly and much of the first quarter saw good hockey from the Dee with the ball being pinged about with confidence.
Great work down the right led to the opening, with Tasha Moore cushioning a lovely guided ball across the Inst keeper and in off the far post to give Donaghadee the lead.
Instonians equalised in the second quarter when a lucky deflection wrongfooted the Dee defence and from there on in, Donaghadee started making heavy weather of things.
With the Dee seemingly unable to clear their lines, Instonians capitalised with another deflection to take the lead seconds before the half time whistle.
There was no lack of endeavour from the home side but with passes not going quite to stick, it was really difficult to mount any sustained pressure or cause the Instonians defence any real danger.
Down the other end, the visitors rounded off their scoring with one more to give the scoreline a comprehensive look and one to chalk up to experience for the Dee.
It was just one of those days where things just did not quite click for the team but there were plenty of positives to take from the match and Donaghadee will be looking forward to putting that one behind them when they travel to Limavady next week.
With thanks to Andy Edwards for umpiring and to Alison McNeice for Home Covid Officer duties.
Junior 8: NICS 4XI 0-0 DLHC 2XI
The first match of the league may have played out as a 0-0 draw but it wasn’t anything short of exciting. With the sun splitting the trees surrounding the NICS pitch on a lovely mild, end of September Saturday, lots of the players were caught out wearing their warm baselayers!
Donaghadee played brilliant defensively to protect stand-in goalkeeper Claire Horne who kindly volunteered to put the pads on with regular 2XI keeper Janice McVeigh unavailable due to work commitments.
What a way for Claire to mark her league debut for the club! Despite it being her first time in goals, she barely needed the Dee defence’s assistance; playing an absolutely sensational game and saving multiple shots even when NICS had 3 consecutive penalty corners just before the final whistle. Claire held her nerve so well and never once crumbled under the pressure.
Donaghadee had some great chances of their own, especially from the wide positions but despite breaking through the NICS defence a few times, unfortunately they just weren’t able to get that goal needed to take home 3 points.
The final quarter proved difficult for Donaghadee with the home side pinning the Dee back in the defensive half for much of the time and the whole team was needed to thwart the chances that NICS had in the circle but the unit remained solid in thier defending, with the midfielders working very hard to get back to help clear the lines.
It was a tough match but as a team with a lot of new faces, there are certainly signs that the players are beginning to gel with Donaghadee putting up a great fight with every player putting in maximum effort to start the season with a point!
Player of the match definitely goes to newbie Claire Horne – the team definitely owes her a few (socially distant) drinks for those brilliant saves!
Thanks to NICS for providing a second umpire for this match. The 2XI are next in action at home to Holywood 2XI on Saturday, pass back 1pm. Covid regulations will be in force for this match so please check the club’s social media if you wish to attend as a spectator.