Greenfields claim Connacht’s first national hockey title

Greenfields Hockey Club made history in Dublin on Sunday when it became the first Connacht club to claim a national title.

The ladies won the ESB Electric Ireland Women's Irish Hockey Trophy against Omagh with a Neassa McGettigan strike sealing the 1 - 0 victory for the Galway city outfit.

The scoreline did not reflect Greenfields’ dominance in this game. They attacked from the start and should have wrapped up the game by half time.

The wastefulness of their forwards was a concern, and it took until the last quarter before they were able to finish off one of the many attacks.

Fitness coach Derek O’Loughlin had his charges in good shape and they were the sharper team throughout. The defence was almost always in control and veteran Clodagh Greally was superb. Her experience showed, particularly in the closing stages of the game, when winding down the clock.

Greenfields’ first chance came in the fifth minute when a good ball out of defence found Gillian Heavey in midfield. She played left to Trish Garrett, who carried into the circle, but the shot rebounded off the left-hand post. Three minutes later Aine Collins put a great ball through to Mary Healy who was fouled in the circle. This gave rise to three short corners in succession which failed to yield a score with some powerful goalkeeping from Gillian Adams.

Omagh’s only chance of the first half was produced when Kathryn Graham sent a long ball down the right hand side. Sarah-Jane McClung fed Amy Netherly, but her shot was wide.

At the other end Greenfields failed to score from another short corner, but they should have taken the lead two minutes later. Alison Ryan carried out a defence before Mary Healy pushed it out towards the incoming Neasa McGettigan. Once again the shot was just wide, and this was immediately followed by another missed opportunity from Trish Garrett before Adams produced another fine save from a short corner before the break.

Omagh took the game to their opponents at the start of the second half, but the stalemate continued when Rosalyn Graham’s shot was wide.

In the 15th minute Greenfields looked to have finally made the breakthrough when Trish Garrett struck after a great run by Neasa McGettigan. However the goal was correctly disallowed as the ball had glanced off a Greenfields’ foot before Garrett’s strike. Two minutes Adams brought off a superb save from another Garrett effort.

Eventually Greenfields reaped their deserved reward when, in the 22nd minute, Neasa McGettigan hit a huge route one shot, giving the Omagh defenders no chance.

Omagh went on the search of an equaliser, but Greenfields’ defence held firm to ensure a proud moment for captain Alma Whelan when she was presented with Connacht’s first national hockey trophy.

Greenfields: S Collins, C Moore, C Greally, A Ryan, N McGettigan, A Collins, M Healy, C Kennedy, R Wyer, G Heavey, S McDonald, A Finnerty, A Whelan, A Meagher, L Tighe, T Garrett. I Murphy. Coach, Deirdre McDermot; Manager, Imelda Brennan; Fitness coach, Derek O’Loughlin.

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