Galway Hockey Club ladies 1st X1 opened their pre-season campaign with a tough challenge against last year’s runners up in the Leinster Senior League, Railway Union.
Opponents do not come much harder than Railway Union, yet in Sandymount at the weekend, Galway were first out of the blocks and caught the Leinster side on the hop
It was not long, however, before Railway Union regained their composure and settled into the contest. Galway continued to press with some excellent work up front from Irish internationals Tara Melvin and Lynsey Trainor, who were supported by Meave O’Faherty and Eavan Murphy. Unfortunately the Galway side could not break thorough as the Railway defence held firm under pressure.
Railway Union, who are competing in the country’s first All-Ireland League this season, began to turn the screw on this young Galway side, capitalising on a mistake at the back to take the lead.
However the industrious midfield, led by captain Grace Melvin, Grainne Black, and Elaine Newell, dominated the early exchanges of the second half. They were rewarded when the club’s top goal scorer Eavan Murphy brought the sides level after some well-worked build-up play down the right.
Spurned into action Railway launched wave after wave of attacks, but goalkeeper Emily Molloy stood firm, while the defensive cover provided by Deirdre Joyce, Sarah Melvin, Alison Hynes, and another youth international Freddie Timmins, could not be faulted.
However in the end inexperience proved to be the Galway side’s undoing. In the closing moments of the match Railway won a short corner and punished Galway, clinching a narrow victory.
Galway coach Richard Malone was obviously delighted with his team’s performance.
“ It was a thrilling match and we did well to compete with such an experienced side,. We worked a great goal from open play and some of our passages of play were excellent.”