REPORT | 18 Sept 2021: DLHC 1XI 0-3 Instonians and NICS 4XI 2-0 DLHC 2XI

Senior League 3: DLHC 1XI 0-3 Instonians
Donaghadee Ladies’ 1XI came up against a slick and organised Instonians side in the first match of the 2021/22 season last Saturday, with the visitors running out 3-0 winners.

With a number of players injured or unavailable, and several players returning to the Dee fold for the new season, there was an element of experimentation for coach Willie McAdam as he looks to bed the team in and work on the best combinations as the season progresses.

Instonians began brightly with good movement off the ball which pulled the inexperienced Dee team out of position on numerous occasions. That the score line remained 0-0 in the first quarter was testament not only to several really good interceptions by the defence but also a number of key saves by Dee keeper Nicola Patton.

The relentless Instonians pressure told in the second quarter, with the visitors scoring one from open play and adding a second from a penalty corner, leaving Donaghadee with much to do in the second half. 

There were several Dee attempts which warmed the Instonians’ keeper’s pads but with ultimately no way through for the home side, Instonians rounded off the scoring by adding their third of the day to give them the deserved three points.

Dee No. 1 Nicola Patton was understandably crowned this week’s Star Player for the Firsts, with one full length diving save alone enough to secure her the star. With thanks to Ryan Burgess for umpiring. The Firsts travel to take on Limavady on Saturday, pass back 2.30pm.

A tough day against Instonians on Saturday
A tough day against Instonians on Saturday

Junior League 8: NICS 4XI 2-0 DLHC 2XI
The first match of the league was a tough 2-0 defeat for DLHC 2XI when they travelled to Playball, Stormont to meet NICS 4XI. Although the result was ultimately a disappointing one, the DLHC side was in high spirits with some promising match play was on display that will be built upon as the team settles back into matches after such a long break away. 

With the late 4 o’clock pass back, the sun was shining low between the trees, leaving Donaghadee playing into the glare, resulting in some pretty squinty faces and a bit of difficulty reading the play.

Donaghadee’s 2XI dominated the game in the first two quarters, spending a lot of time in the opposition half and creating numerous chances in the circle. Despite even a few penalty corners in the Dee’s favour, they just couldn’t get the ball over the line and into the back of the net, leaving the half time score line at 0-0.

When the third quarter came, NICS took the lead against the run of play and using that advantage to build from there and add a second goal before Donaghadee had time to regroup.

At the beginning of the final quarter, DLHC had a few more chances in the circle but agonisingly weren’t unable to get a goal back. The end of the final quarter brought around a lot more defensive play from DLHC and the midfielders did a super job in getting back to support.

It was no surprise then when Megan Gore was awarded Star Player by her team mates this week as she had a super game in midfield but also helped out all over the pitch in what was a fantastic performance️, and she thanked Nicola Patton for umpiring.

Despite the frustrating result, Donaghadee put up a great fight as a team and they will be looking to build on the positive play when they welcome Holywood 2XI to Bangor Grammar on Saturday (25th), pass back at 1pm. 


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