Greenfields Hockey Club are gearing up for one of the biggest days in the club’s history after qualifying for their first All Ireland final.
The Galway club accounted for Wexford by 1 - 0 in a close and tense affair at the Astro Active Centre in Enniscorthy at the weekend, which needed extra time to separate the sides.
Greenfields now meet Catholic Inistitute of Limerick in the Irish Trophy final in Dublin on March 21. It will be an interesting day for the Mannion family who will have divided loyalties - Marese plays for Greenfields, while her sister Sheena lines out for the Limerick club.
On Sunday Wexford enjoyed the better of the earlier exchanges, forcing four short corners in the first 10 minutes as Miriam Sherlock and Elaine Kinsilla dominated midfield.
It took some resolute defending by the Greenfields’ defence, marshelled by veteran Catherine Moore and with a superb save by Marlyn Huygens to keep the scoresheet blank.
As the half progressed Greenfields came into the game and began to control midfield with some excellent runs by Brenda Flannery and Nessa McGettigan.
Five minutes from half time Wexford had Sinead Dempsey sinbinned and Greenfields took over the game but failed to score.
From the re-start Wexford attacked the Greenfields’ goal and forced a short corner, but from then on Greenfields had the better of the exchanges. They created several chances to take the lead with Alma Whelan and Mary Healy forcing good saves from Deirdre Colfer.
Extra time was needed to separate the sides, but it was not until the final minute that the game was decided. Greenfields, working the ball from defence along the right wing, forced three long corners. Brenda Flannery carried the ball into the circle from the third to win a short corner, and although Flannery’s shot was blocked, Trish Garrett met the re-bound with a superb shot to finish the game.
Greenfields: Marlyn Huygens, Nessa McGettigan, Ciara Power, Aoife Smyth, Trish Garrett, Brenda Flannery, Catherine Moore, Mary Healy, Alison Ryan, Aine Collins, Ailish Walsh, Alma Whelan, Marese Mannion, Olive Healy, Sinead Collins.