Senior 3: Limavady 4-1 DLHC 1XI
Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club’s 1XI were on the road last Saturday when they travelled to last season’s Senior 2 side Limavady.
Limavady have already notched up a 6-0 victory over Parkview on the opening day of the season so it wasn’t ideal for the Dee to be heading to the north west missing three defenders but such is the current strength in depth at the club, 14 were still able to travel.
The early exchanges were fairly even with both sides probing to find the opening. Going forward Donaghadee looked threatening, with midfielder Kerry Kennedy in particular shooting just wide on a couple of occasions, but close enough to have the Limavady keeper shuttling sideways to cover her posts.
Tasha Moore, occupying the wide right berth, also made good inroads and forced the Limavady keeper in to a smart save midway through the first quarter too.
At the other end of the pitch Donaghadee were making a good fist of repelling the attacks of the home side, with Sarah Hooks and Lauren Bailie in the heart of defence getting through a lot of work in intercepting through balls to set up the Dee midfield as they tried to find a platform on which to mount their attacks.
Sarah-Louise Baird and Amy Long were in the two wide defensive positions and both provided an excellent link between defence and midfield, pushing up to bolster attacking efforts where possible.
The deadlock was broken shortly before the end of the first quarter when Limavady won a penalty corner that was duly converted. That gave the home side confidence to push on and Donaghadee needed to rely on keeper Siobhan McAdam to make numerous really good saves to keep the score to 1-0.
The second half began in much the same fashion with the Dee defence under considerable pressure and it was really unfortunate that Sarah took a cleanly hit shot directly to her foot that sa her hobbling off to take no further part in the match.
With Donaghadee trying to rearrange the defensive set up, Limavady took advantage to double their lead: an initial save by Siobhan saw the ball ping up high into the air with a Limavady forward using some neat skills borrowed from camogie roots to bat in an overhead shot.
The horrible third quarter continued for Donaghadee with a third and fourth going in to effectively seal the match for the home side but the Dee did rally somewhat in the final quarter.
Chloe McGookin and Jan Morrow both tried to impose themselves on the game with snapping tackles in midfield while Lisa Higgins linked well with Helen Hooks who made a couple of terrific charges down the left.
The break finally came for the Dee down the right however, with Emma McGimpsey-Young feeding Catherine Armstrong in the wide right position. Driving forward Catherine was able to feed Captain Carolyn Scott at the top of the circle.
Her resulting flat, low shot across the keeper took a deflection off a defender’s stick on the way through, allowing the ball to loop over the outstretched leg of the Limavady No 1 and nestle in the far corner.
It was some reward for the team who had shown no little effort all afternoon but who just fell short against a very strong Limavady side. Final score 4-1, with Siobhan being voted player of the match. Thanks to Willie McAdam for stepping in to umpire.
Junior 8: DLHC 2XI 1-1 Holywood 2XI
Donaghadee Ladies 2XI welcomed local rivals Holywood 2XI to their home pitch at Bangor Grammar School on Saturday 3rd October, for what would turn out to be a hard-fought game. Thankfully, with the 1pm pass back, the players managed to escape the wet conditions that transpired later in the day. The 1-1 draw was sure to keep the band of socially-distanced spectators on the edge of their seats, right until the final play of the game.
The Dee ladies played an all-round great game, with all elements of the team working hard to put pressure on the Holywood side. An early break gave the Dee a great chance to break the Holywood line with centre forward Carmen Van Der Schyff scoring to leave Donaghadee 1-0 up going into the second quarter.
Donaghadee worked hard to ensure that any chances to push upfield were taken, with players on the wide positions proving essential for skirting past the Holywood defence. However, these chances were scuppered by good saves from opposition’s keeper.
Despite breaking Holywood’s defensive line on occasion, unfortunately the Seconds couldn’t quite get shots on target to extend their lead.
Janice McVeigh took up her usual position of goalkeeper, after being unavailable last week. Last week’s stand-in keeper Claire Horne stepped up once again, but this time to take on the position of fullback, alongside Brooke Stanley, Mia Park and Holly Brookes who did an incredible job of closing down Holywood’s chances of scoring throughout the game.
The last quarter saw Holywood on a mission to score – with all players being utilised to create goal chances. Whilst Donaghadee worked hard to prevent this, a late goal by the visitors equalised leaving the score at 1-1 at the final whistle.
Donaghadee Ladies fought hard throughout and they should be extremely proud of their efforts with lots of great hockey being played.
Special mention must go to Megan Gore, who played a vital part in the Dee’s success, playing pragmatically throughout and so earning herself the title of Player of the Match, and she thanked Floss Scott for umpiring the game.