On Saturday the 1st September, the Dalriada 1stXI started their season with a tournament held at University Ulster Jordanstown.
This newly formed team firstly played Wallace High School Lisburn, a school well known for hockey, and the team was sure it would be a hard match. Superb tackles made by Judith McConaghy, Hollie Fleming, Emma Millar and Lynn McAuley kept the Wallace forwards from scoring and with unlucky attempts from Manon Eymere and Sophie McPearson the match with a scoreless draw.
After a quick rest the girls were faced by a tough Ballymena Academy team. Excellent saves from Dalriada’s goalkeeper Nicola McCollum prevented any goals being conceded. Great runs by Becky Webb and Claire Finerty proved that Dalriada were dangerous on the break but were unlucky not to score when shots were put wide by Rebecca Turton and Manon Eymere. Ballymena Academy had a few fast forwards and were soon faced by a one on one with the keeper but a goal saving tackle made by Lynn McAuley and later by Rebecca Turton meant the game ended with another scoreless draw.
Dalriada next played Cookstown, a team which had proven to be strong against Dalriada in the past. Dalriada’s team contained young members who stepped up and played well, Rachel McPearson and Emma Johnson getting involved and providing strong tackles and runs to give the advantage to the Dalriada forwards and winning a penalty corner. However Cookstown defence were very strong and prevented any goals from being scored. The match ended 0-0.
The last match of the tournament the team played Belfast High. With a stern team talk, the girls were out to perform well, strong attacks and attempts on goal from Claire Finerty, Manon Eymere and Becky Webb. Belfast High also had some chances to take the lead, but Judith McConaghy, Emma Millar and Nicola McCollum played well in defence and kept any goals being conceded - ending the match with a scoreless draw.
The team would like to thank the coaches Mrs Cleland and Miss McCracken. Team; Rebecca Turton, Emma Millar, Judith McConaghy, Hollie Fleming, Nicola McCollum, Claire Finerty, Emma Johnson, Rebecca Webb, Manon Eymere, Lynn McAuley, Sophie McPearson and Rachel McPearson.