Greenfields through to All-Ireland's!

November 8, 2018

Greenfields Hockey Club    1  –  0    N.I.C.S.


Greenfields put in a massive performance to claim victory over their more illustrious opponents, Northern Ireland Civil Service in this Irish Trophy semi-final played in Dangan on Saturday.  They now go on to meet Omagh, victors over their arch rivals Galway Hockey Club in the other semi-final.  They will be hoping to go one better than their defeat in the 2010 final, and thus become the first Connacht Hockey club to claim the title.


The game started in wonderful spring sunshine and finished in hailstones which covered the pitch and ironically required the withdrawal of the white ball in favour of the more visible orange one.


However, even the orange ball was not enough to rescue Civil Service in the final minutes of this most entertaining game.


Urged on by a big crowd Greenfields deserved their victory on a day when everybody played their part.  The back four Aine Collins, Clodagh Grealy, Catherine Moore and Alison Ryan rarely put a foot wrong.  Sweeper Grealy was superb and showed her vast experience in taking command at the back.  Catherine Moore was ever dependable and wingbacks Aine Collins and Alison Ryan played well, carrying the ball out of defense and distributing it into space or to a teammates stick.


Civil Service started strongly and had a couple of short corners early on.  Sweeper Nikki Tipping distributed well, Kathryn Clawson and Jan Boyle (former international herself and daughter of rugby great Mike Gibson), were a threat.  However, Greenfields did not panic settled into the game and took it to NICS.  Mary Healy on the left flank of left field and Sarah McDonald on the right played plenty of ball into the forwards and Neasa McGettigan in the centre carried into the circle, but the front ladies were unable to capitalise on the possession resulting in stalemate at half time.


NICS,  like in the first half, started the second half strongly.  Clawson and Christina Hayes were a threat but as in the first half Greenfields settled in and really controlled the game from early in the second half, despite not taking the lead until the twenty fifth minute.


From a Clodagh Grealy clearance Liz Tighe took possession and passed to Trish Garrett. Her shot went high off the stick of defender Laura Tapley and went into the net despite the best effort of goalkeeper Allanna Hill to bat it away. ***


Smelling victory Greenfields went on the attack again. Aine Collins carried out of defense, passed left to Gillian Heavey, she carried into the circle and hit a huge shot which was just inches wide of the left upright.


Then the hailstones started to fall and in came the orange ball.  Civil Service attacked with a one-two between Boyle and Tipping, resulting in the latter putting the ball across the goal just wide of the right upright.


Greenfields endured one further scary moment when an uncharacteristic mistake gave NICS a short corner and their last chance to equalise.  However Greenfields cleared the lines and were relieved to hear the final whistle.


The Irish Trophy final takes place in the Belfield Arena on Sunday April 1st at 1.15pm


***Check out Trish Garret’s winning goal on YouTube!





Match Report courtesy of Mike Ryan.