Galway Hockey Club 1
Greenfields Hockey Club 0
Galway Hockey Club lifted the Connacht Senior cup for the fourth year in a row in an exciting game played in perfect conditions in Dangan on Saturday.
The game started at a fast pace with both teams moving the ball swiftly from end to end and Galway were unlucky not to take an early lead when Emma Johnson forced a fantastic save from Sinead Collins after five minutes.
Both sets of midfielders fought a battle royal. Galway’s Michelle Carey and Deirdre Hatton and Greenfields’ Neasa McGettigan and Dora Gorman swopped periods of dominance before Hatton fed Lindsey Traynor. Passing two defenders, she forced a short corner for a foot foul in the circle, and from the resulting action Freddie Timmons unleashed a powerful shot which gave Sinead Collins no chance in the Greenfields’ goal.
This goal spurred Greenfields into action and they dominated the remainder of the half, but failed to hit the backboard. They had two golden opportunities - firstly in the last 10 minutes when Neasa McGettigan carried the ball towards the circle and passed to Alma Whelan on the right. She switched left to Mary Healy who found herself in a one-on-one with Galway goalkeeper Emily Molloy. Molloy dived and smothered the chance. Then, on the stroke of half time, a careless Galway back pass was intercepted by Mary Healy who passed across the circle to the incoming Grace McCormack on the left. She might have done better with her powerful shot which hit the wrong side of the left upright. In between Galway could have extended their lead when Claire Heskin was just wide following a good cross from Lindsey Traynor.
Greenfields again had their chances to equalise in the second half, but their forwards continued to squander opportunities with Emily Molloy dealing excellently with two further one on one chances.
Both sides were temporarily reduced to 10 players when Louise Fahy of Galway and Alison Ryan of Greenfields saw yellow for not retreating the required five metres quickly enough - the umpires having given several previous warnings to players from both sides.
Galway held onto their one goal advantage and Claire Heskin, their captain, was delighted to lift the Connacht Senior Cup again to finish their season off on a high. Greenfields have a further opportunity to similarly finish on a high when they travel to Cork early next month for the play-offs for a place in the All Ireland Hockey League.