Stunning Greenfields March Into Irish Hockey Trophy Final

November 8, 2018

GreenfieldsHockey Club pulled off an outstanding win away to Belfast Harlequins onSaturday to make their second successive Irish Trophy final. This was theirsecond trip to Belfastfor another away tie having overcome NICS in the quarters. They faced a strongHarlequins side who are one of the top sides at this level and it looked like adaunting task for the Greenfields ladies. However a stunning display of sharpattacking and well drilled defence helped them pull off a well earned victoryand the opportunity to claim their second title in Belfield next Saturday.


Allthe pre-match nerves were dispelled early as a sharp intercept by Captain, Alma Whelan inside the circleled to a penalty stroke which was confidently dispatched by Sarah McDonald after four minutes.Quins pressed hard for an equaliser but the Greenfields defence were able forevery threat with McDonald, ClodaghGrealy, Catherine Moore and AineCollins keeping the Quins defence out. Their only real chance after twelveminutes brought a good save from keeper SineadCollins. Greenfields continued to dominate possession with Elaine Hall, Neasa McGettigan and Trish Garrett controlling the midfield.The pressure was rewarded in the sixteenth minute when a cross from a free onthe left from Aine Collins was cleverly flicked home by Liz Tighe. A minute later a great shot from Becky Anderson just went wide. Greenfields were dominating at thisstage and the crucial third goal came just a minute later when McGettigan hit agreat pass through to Anderson who found Garrett on the left. Her clever flickfound Mary Healy who calmly placedit beyond the keeper. Greenfields dominated the remaining minutes of the halfwith Tighe just shooting wide after good work from Rachel Wyer, Ellie Noone, and AliceMeagher.


Thesecond half saw Greenfields continue to dominate possession with McGettiganjust wide from a short corner and Wyer going close but scoring chances were ata premium. Good work from Grealy, McDonald and Siobhan Divilly helped Greenfields see it out to the end with acontrolled display. This was an outstanding team performance and they cantravel to Belfield on Saturday to take on yet another Northern side Lisnagarveywith some confidence in their ability to compete at this level and hopefullylift the Trophy for the second time.


Tocomplete a great week-end they travelled to Athlone on Sunday morning needingat least a draw in their final league match of the season to secure the leaguetitle and a coveted place in next season’s Irish Hockey League. In the firstten minutes Greenfields created a few changes but stout defending from Athlonekept them at bay. Then good work from BeckyAnderson and Ellie Nooneresulted in a cross to the far post which found Mary Healy free and she tapped in for the opening goal. The secondfollowed from more intense pressure and a loose ball in the circle fell to Sorcha Minihan who made no mistake fromclose range. Greenfields were now in total control and continued to create chances.This pressure finally lead to a number of short corners and Mary Healyconverted from the third set piece to put the Greens three up. Mary Healycompleted her hat trick in thesecond half and the Greens ran out four nil winners.


Thiswin secured the Connacht League title and entry in the Irish Hockey League nextseason. This will be a historic season for Greenfields as they will be thefirst Connacht club to ever play in the IrishHockey League. The league is made up of the top twelve teams in the country. HopefullyGreenfields can round off a great season next Saturday. Greenfields vLisnagarvey, Saturday 13th April at 1.30. Belfield.


Match report courtesy of Roddy Wyer