Greenfields Victory in IHL Clash!

November 8, 2018

A delighted coach Deirdre McDermott was clearly proud of her players after Saturday's win over Lurgan in the IHL.
"It is a unbelievable achievement to beat the fourth best team in Ulster in their own back yard. It was a really tough match but they all fought till the end and put their bodies on the line.
 They got their just rewards: a historic win in the IHL and did themselves, Greenfields and Connacht Hockey proud. Well done"
Full match report below:

Greenfields Hockey club recorded their first points in the Electric Ireland Irish Hockey League last Saturday with a hard fought away victory over Lurgan Hockey Club. Lurgan, who boast a number of players who won the All- Ireland School’s last year, started the brighter of the two sides with a fearless opening few minutes which saw Greenfields struggle to gain any real possession.

Lurgan who have a great balance of youth and experience including Irish U18 internationals Alex Hurst, Kathyrn and Pippa Best in their side, and their experience at playing in the Premier League in Ulster, was evident in the opening 10 minutes. However Greenfields’ experienced back line of Sarah McDonald, Catherine Moore, Clodagh Grealy and Aine Collins were unfazed and dealt with all that came their way.  Sinead Collins was however called upon early in the game and her diving save to her right denied Lurgan the opening goal after great work from their midfield resulted in Edgar striking from the top of the circle.

The game was played at a ferocious pace and the work rate shown from both sides was immense. Greenfields began to settle into the game and once they got their passing game going they were showing just how much of an attacking threat they can be. The game’s only goal came from Greenfields first real attacking opportunity. Great work from Liz Tighe down the right channel resulted in a free which she took quickly, feeding the ever hungry Trish Garrett who showed great skill and determination to carry the ball into the circle, beating the defenders and drawing in the goal keeper, before laying it off for Mary Healy who was waiting at the back post. Healy made no mistake and coolly tapped the ball into the goal to give Greenfields the lead which they would not surrender for the rest of the match.

The second quarter was quite an open affair with both sides pushing hard for a goal. Lurgan were pressing up the pitch very high which was limiting Greenfields opportunities to get possession in their opponents half. Sinead Collins as always had an assured performance in goal and dealt efficiently with any shots that came her way. Greenfields midfield of Liz Tighe, Pam McCann and Ellie Noone worked tirelessly as did all the forwards. Deirdre McDermott used her bench well and rotated her players as the fast pace of the game continued relentlessly. An injury to Sarah McDonald saw the introduction of Kelly Dunleavy who seamlessly stepped into right back and looked assured in everything that she did. Greenfields went into half time the happier of the two sides as they had settled into the task at hand.

The third quarter continued in the same vain as the previous two with Lurgan having the majority of the possession. However despite this they were unable to convert that possession into goals and were limited to hitting big balls into the circle which rarely troubled the Greenfields keeper. Huge credit must go to Clodagh Grealy who marshalled the defence expertly and proved a constant thorn in the Lurgan's side.

As is usual when a team is pushing for an equaliser, the fourth quarter was a somewhat frantic affair. Lurgan threw everything they had at Greenfields and following the disappointment of letting in 2 goals in the final quarter the week before Greenfields seemed a little edgy. The pace of the game never relented and if anything increased in the final quarter with end to end play. Each attacking opportunity was ably dealt with by Lurgan who demonstrated great skills and speed to turn defence into attack. Every Greenfields player gave their all the final quarter and worked to defend the lead with the forwards working up and down the pitch to assist the defence. The final 3 minutes was a very tense affair with Lurgan getting 3 short corners in quick succession but the every energetic Elaine Hall snuffed out any shots on goal and the short corner defence team cleared their circle. Man of the match Clodagh Grealy took matters into her own hands showing her experience by retaining possession in the final minutes and despite another short corner right before the final whistle Greenfields held on to record a memorable and historic victory in the Electric Ireland Irish Hockey League. This victory is all the more poignant for Connacht Hockey as a whole with a Connacht's representation in the IHL on a trial basis only. In securing the 4 points Greenfields have done themselves and Connacht proud. The task only gets harder for Greenfields with an away game to the current Irish Senior Cup holders and Leinster League winners UCD this Saturday. All in Greenfields realise the challenge ahead and will go into the game without any pressure. Greenfields will be looking forward to lining out against their former team mate Brenda Flannery who remains a very popular and highly regarded figure in Greenfields Hockey Club.