Senior 3: Instonians 1-0 DLHC 1XI
The score will go down as a 1-0 win for Instonians last Friday night but the 1XI of Donaghadee LHC put in a performance that was worthy of taking at least a point from this game.
The early stages of the match saw a lot of early pressure from the home side, including two penalty corners cleared to safety, with Dee keeper Nicola Patton making a smart early save, with Sarah Hooks mopping up to clear the follow up danger.
Donaghadee countered with Paige Reilly firing a long ball forward and, with the ball slowing dramatically on the heavy surface, forward Carolyn Scott was unlucky in her chase, the ball just evading her outreached stick to trickle off the back line for a hit out.
Tasha Moore, back in the side following an injury layoff then beat two defenders in a foot race on the left as the Instonians keeper stayed back but a covering defender just got back in time to nick the ball off the end of Tasha’s stick before she could get a shot away.
With both teams intent on playing attacking hockey, there were chances created at either end. Attacking for Donaghadee, a break in the final minute of the quarter by Carolyn set Kerry Kennedy free into circle but the ball clipped a Dee foot to relieve the pressure on the home side.
At the other end, there was some great work in defence by Megan Gore, Rachel McClatchey and Jodie Ingham, all working hard in the defensive positions to prevent any crosses coming in from the flanks, and Chloe McGookin breaking up the play coming through the middle of the pitch.
Quarter two followed very much the same pattern, with chances for both teams. Kerry had two terrific breaks into the attacking circle, but some last ditch defending by Inst kept her out and kept the score goalless. Helen Herron too was providing some excellent outlet balls to keep Donaghadee on the front foot; often surrounded by two or three yellow shirts, she still more often than not managed to wriggle free, usually with the ball glued to the end of her stick!
Quarter three showed with Instonians are top of the league. They piled on the pressure and began to have a bit more of the play but again Donaghadee coped well and held firm as a defensive unit, until midway through the quarter when a long corner took a late deflection and into the corner of the goal to give the home side the lead
The final quarter was again very end to end with chances snuffed out by two excellent defences.
With Row Moore, Jan Morrow and Lauren Mann all switching in and out in midfield, Donaghadee kept asking questions of their hosts, and some great work down the left set Kerry free into the circle where she did brilliantly to win Donaghadee’s first – and only – penalty corner of the match with three minutes left.
A double save from the Instonians defence thwarted the efforts and the home team were able to hold on for a very hard-fought 1-0 victory.
Helen Herron was voted Star Player by her team mates for her tireless running in midfield this week and she thanked Mike Smyth for umpiring. The Firsts are next in action at home to Limavady on Saturday, pass back at Bangor Grammar 1pm.
Junior League 8: DLHC 2XI 0-0 Saintfield
Despite several players only returning from the dreaded ‘super flu’ that’s been doing the rounds, the 2XI of DLHC had a great game on Saturday against Saintfield at BGS. It may have been a 0-0 draw but it was nothing short of exciting.
The Dee got off to a fighting start in the first quarter, with great match play and breaks up the pitch to keep the pressure on the Saintfield defence.
Saintfield came out raring to go in the second quarter but the Donaghadee defence were not to be outdone and did brilliantly to put off any Saintfield attacks, with every player putting in a great shift from beginning to end.
The third quarter saw a patient Donaghadee winning several penalty corners and again making some lovely breaks up the wings as they tried to find the breakthrough. However they just couldn’t get the ball across the goal line to give themselves the advantage.
With the match drawing to a close, the final quarter was dominated by the girls in red and green, with lots of great passing and match play all over the pitch. Unfortunately a goal was not to be but the whole team was happy to take a very solid point to go again next week!
Special shout-out to Star Player Megan Gore who not only played a great defensive game but made some awesome breaks through the midfield too. Thanks to Carolyn Scott for umpiring and to all supporters who braved the cold to show their support.
The Seconds go again on Saturday when they welcome North Down to BGS in the 2.30pm game.