Senior League 3: DLHC 1XI 5-0 Derg Valley
With two defeats to show from the opening games of the season, the 1XI of Donaghadee Ladies Hockey Club were looking to get some points on the board when Derg Valley came to BGS on Saturday. It showed too, with the Dee opting for high tempo hockey right from the opening whistle. There was plenty of pressure and go forward ball from Donaghadee with the midfield of Helen Herron, Kerry Kennedy and Chloe McGookin all harrying and pressing to prevent Derg from escaping their half.
The chances started to come and the Derg keeper was called into early service to make a couple of smart saves to deny Donaghadee the opening goal. The fast-flowing hockey from the Dee kept coming however and midway through the first quarter. Kerrie Turtle broke the deadlock from the left of the circle with a beautifully weighted shot across the keeper and in off the far right hand post to give Donagahdee the lead going into the second quarter.
Donaghadee continued to create chances, with Kerrie, Tasha Moore and Kerry all with good efforts either parried away by the visiting keeper, or last-ditch clearances from the Derg defence.
After the half time switch round, Donaghadee seemed leave their attacking nous in the dugout, letting Derg have their best spell and giving the defence a fair bit of work, but the back four of Laura Boyle, Sarah Hooks, Paige Reilly and Jodie Ingham – making an assured club debut in this match – were able to break down many of the attacks before they reached Dee keeper Nicola Patton.
With Nicola making one smart save, Donaghadee seemed to wake up and they started to settle back into the playing rhythm of the first half: plenty of chances but just unable to make the final ball count. Despite a number of penalty corners and shots on target or just wide, there was no further score until two minutes from the end of the quarter when a super reverse shot from top of the circle by Kerry made it 2-0, and made for slightly more comfortable viewing for the Dee supporters on the sideline.
That seemed to settle the Dee players too, with Row Moore providing fresh legs and runs forward on the left and Jan Morrow covering a lot of ground in the middle of the pitch. Donaghadee’s third goal came from the right however, with Tasha squaring the ball from the right baseline and Kerrie nipping in front of the keeper to add her second, and Donaghadee’s third of the day.
Four minutes later it was 4-0: a strong run and shot goalward from Jan, was met by Tasha who deflected it beautifully over the diving keeper. Chloe then got in on the scoring, capping her Star Player performance with a goal of her own when she burst through the centre of midfield to strike from top of the circle to make it 5-0.
With less than a minute to go, a late break from Derg won them a penalty corner, but Rachel McClatchey was on hand to sweep the ball clear to preserve the clean sheet. Final score 5-0 to Donaghadee, with thanks to Janice McVeigh for umpiring. The 1XI welcome Ballynahinch to BGS on Saturday, pass back 1pm, while the 2XI also entertain Hinch at BGS in the following match, pass back 2.30pm, after their 0-0 draw with Ards last weekend.
We were saddened to hear of the passing of Hans Arthur earlier this week. Many’s a Saturday we were warmly greeted by Hans as we made Grace Neill’s the last stop of the night, still in kit and usually in fine form. He always had a smile for us and never failed to ask, ‘Well, how did you do today?’ One of Donaghadee’s gentlemen who will be keenly missed and everyone at the club passes on our deepest condolences to the Arthur family.