Greenfields take All-Ireland title!

November 8, 2018

Greenfields H.C.      1 –  0        Omagh H.C. 




Greenfields made hockey history in Dublin on Sunday as they became the first Connacht hockey club to claim a national title when winning the Irish Trophy final against Omagh.  This was a green versus orange affair as the Northerners wear an all orange strip. However the game did not have any of the animosity that might have existed when these two colours clashed in the past, and was played in a clean and sporting manner.


The one-nil score line does not reflect Greenfields’ dominance in this game. They attacked their opponents from the start and should really have this game wrapped up by halftime. The wastefulness of their forwards was a concern. They did not score until the last quarter and at that stage the fear existed that Omagh might sneak a goal in one of their rare counter-attacks and batten down the hatches.


Fitness coach Derek O’Loughlin had his charges in good shape and they were the sharper team throughout. The defense was almost always in control and veteran Clodagh Grealy was superb. Her experience showed, particularly in the closing stages of the game, when winding down the clock.


Greenfields first chance came in the fifth minute when a good ball out of defense found Gillian Heavey in midfield. She played left to Trish Garrett who carried into the circle only to see her shot come back off the left hand post. Three minutes later Aine Collins put a great ball through to Mary Healy who was fouled in the circle. This gave rise to three short corners in succession which failed to yield a score with some powerful goalkeeping from Omagh’s Gillian Adams.


Omagh came into the game for a few minutes in the middle of the first half Kathryn Graham sent a long ball down the right hand side. It was picked up by Sarah-Jane McClung. She fed Amy Netherly whose shot was wide.


At the other end Greenfields failed to score from another short corner but should have again taken the lead two minutes later. Alison Ryan carried out a defense and passed to Trish Garrett. She laid the ball on for Mary Healy who pushed it out towards the incoming Neasa McGettigan and her shot was just wide on the right. This was immediately followed by another missed opportunity. Clodagh Grealy carried the ball out of defense and laid it onto Trish Garrett on the left hand side of the circle who again shot wide.


On a counter attack Aine Buchanan was wide at the other end and on the thirtieth minute Greenfields fifth short corner brought another fine save off Adams.


Omagh took the game to their opponents at the start of the second half. Rosalyn Graham was just wide after taking up a long pass from Amy Netherly.


On the fifteenth minute Greenfields hit the backboard after a great run by Neasa McGettigan who found Trish Garrett. One of the umpires signaled a goal, it went up on the scoreboard and Greenfields went back into their own half celebrating. However, to the huge disappointment of the Greenfields supporters, the goal was correctly disallowed as the ball had glanced off a Greenfields foot before Garretts strike. Two minutes later Garrett had a golden opportunity to put her side ahead when she was put through by Mary Healy. She was one on one with goalkeeper Adams who narrowed the angle and brought off a superb save.


Greenfields eventually got their reward in the twenty second minute from their sixth short corner. Aine Collins hit a superb put out. It was stopped by Clodagh Grealy and Neasa McGettigan hit a huge route one shot giving the Omagh defenders no chance.


Omagh tried to grasp the game at this stage and went on the search of an equaliser. They were most unlucky in the thirty second minute when Roslyn Graham tipped the ball into the goal after good midfield play by Kirsty McMaster. However the umpires whistle had blown for a foul on Graham. The Omagh players were justifiably annoyed that advantage was not played. The incident resulted in their first short corner of the game, testimony to the discipline if the Greenfields defence. The shot by Sarah-Jane McClung from the put out hit the back of the net but this was correctly disallowed as it was too high.


Greenfields then went on to successfully play “keep ball”. As the clock on the scoreboard ticked away their supporters counted down the seconds. The players were ecstatic when the final whistle sounded It was a proud moment for captain Alma Whelan when she was presented with the trophy by Herbie Sherman President of the Irish Hockey Association to start a great day and night of celebrations. (See photo below)


Greenfields Squad: Sinead Collins, Catherine Moore, Clodagh Grealy, Alison Ryan, Neasa McGettigan, Aine Collins, Mary Healy, Clodagh Kennedy, Rachel Wyer,  Gillian Heavey, Sarah McDonald, Ailbhe Finnerty, AlmaWhelan,(Capt) Alice Meagher, Liz Tighe, Trish Garrett and Ingrid Murphy.

Coach: Deirdre McDermot, Manager: Imelda Brennan, Fitness Coach: Derek O’Loughlin.


                                  Match report courtesy of Mike Ryan