The Connacht Hockey Junior and Senior Cup Finals took place in Dangan on Holy Saturday. The Junior Cup final saw Greenfields Hockey Club take on Athlone Hockey Club, while the Senior Final was between Galway Hockey Club and Greenfields Hockey Club.
Junior Cup Final
Greenfields HC 3 (Molly Kelly Grealy x 2, Aoife Murphy) Athlone HC 1 Maedbh Tiernan
The Junior Cup final took place in Dangan in front of a large number of supporters who came out to cheer on these two young teams. It was Athlone who took an early lead after 15 minutes of play Meadbh Tiernan slotting past the Greenfields keeper Lauren McKnight. Greenfields equalized just before half time following a good run by Grace Kavanagh who found Molly Kelly Grealy in the circle who first timed it into the Athlone goal. The second half saw end-to-end hockey with both teams creating some good chances. The Greenfields back line led by Aoife McGovern and Maeve Hurson dealt well with whatever Athlone threw at them, and the Athlone keeper Eleanor McKeown made some crucial saves to keep her team in the game. Aoife Healy for Athlone was dangerous on the attack but despite chances by both teams the score remained level for the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half. It was Greenfields who broke the deadlock when Aoife Murphy found the back of the net with a reverse stick shot giving the Athlone Keeper no chance. Four minutes later Greenfields made it 3-1 with Molly Kelly Grealy on the scoresheet again securing the win for Greenfields. Captain Ciara Murphy lifted the Connacht Junior Cup with Greenfields retaining the Cup for a 2nd year in a row.
Connacht Senior Cup
Greenfields 3 (Sarah Dunleavy x2, Siobhan Divilly)
Galway 2 (Freddie Timmins, Katie Codyre)
Local Rivals Greenfields HC and Galway HC lined out to compete for the Connacht Senior Cup. A competitive match is always guaranteed when these two sides meet and this occasion did not disappoint. The match was very evenly matched with both teams working tirelessly in midfield. It was Greenfields who went ahead after 20 minutes with Siobhan Divilly opening the scoring. An attack along the baseline created the opportunity for her to flick the ball over the Galway goal keeper Michaela Van Der Walt. Galway piled on the pressure looking for the equalizer and were awarded with a number of short corners. This pressure finally paid off with Freddie Timmins converting on the half hour mark. The teams remained level at the break.
The second half provided a great spectacle of hockey with both sides pushing forward in search of a goal. Both Keepers Sinead Collins in the Greenfields goal and Van Der Walt made some excellent saves with Galway’s Hannah Gormley and Catherine Clancy dealing well with any pressure. Liz Tighe led the Greenfields back line to keep the score at 1 apiece until the 60th minute. It was Galway who took the lead when Katie Codyre was found in the circle, and made no mistake to first time it into the back of the net. Greenfields regrouped and pushed on in search of that all important equalizer, and with just two minutes remaining in the game Greenfields were awarded a short corner. The corner broke down and Rebecca Gilligan found Sarah Dunleavy on the back post. Dunleavy knocked it into the back of the net to level the sides and bring the game to extra time.
Extra time was another tight affair with both sides creating chances. It looked like the match was going to go to penalty strokes, however Greenfields were awarded a short corner with 40 seconds remaining. The initial shot by Neasa McGettigan was saved and when Rebecca Gilligan sent the ball back into the danger area to find Dunleavey, she converted to get her second of the game and win the tie for Greenfields Hockey Club as the umpires blew the final whistle. An exciting end to an excellent game of hockey!
Greenfields Captain Siobhan Divilly was presented with the Connacht Cup by Connacht Branch President Riona Johnson.