Greenfields Hockey Club were crowned Connacht Senior League champions in Dangan on Tuesday night after seeing off local rivals Galway by 2 - 1 in a superb game played in heavy rain.
Greenfields now go forward to this weekend’s All Ireland League play-offs where they face Ballymoney of Co Antrim on Friday night, Old Alexandra on Saturday, and Catholic Institute of Limerick on Sunday. In this latter game Greenfields will be hoping to avenge their defeat to the Limerick club in the All Ireland final last March.
They will look to Dora Gorman to lead the attack after her excellent performance against Galway on Tuesday when she set up the opening goal and scored the second.
Greenfields got the perfect start, going one up in the second minute of the game. Alison Ryan broke out of defence on the left, laid off the ball for Dora Gorman who came onto it at full pace, and taking the ball to the Galway end line, drawing the cover, she crossed the ball to the circle into the path of sticker Alma Whelan who made no mistake in crashing the ball into the net.
Greenfields dominated the game for the next 15 minutes and should have been three nil up going into the second quarter, but for resolute defending by Grace Melvin and sweeper Freddie Timmons.
Galway settled into the game and the remainder of the first half was end-to-end fare with both sides playing superb hockey despite the conditions.
Jess McMickan had a number of probing runs for Galway and they were unlucky not to equalise in the 30th minute when Lyndsey Traynor forced a super save from Sinead Collins.
As the half was entering its last minute Trish Garrett took possession just inside the Greenfields half. She pushed the ball towards the Galway circle and Dora Gorman capped a superb first-half performance when she out-sprinted the Galway midfielders, took possession just outside the circle, and then beat two Galway defenders to flick the ball into the Galway goal.
Galway were quick to launch into a series of attacks after the restart. Forcing three short corners in succession, Galway were eventually rewarded when a superb shot from Tara Melvin after five minutes hit the net.
Galway, encouraged by this score, continued to put pressure on Greenfields, but their back four played superbly and kept attack after attack at bay.