Women’s Irish Hockey Trophy final

Cork C of I 4 (H Honner 2, K Gaffney, K Coombes) Greenfields 2 (A McGovern, M Holden)

Cork C of I produced a remarkable second half comeback to win the women’s Irish Hocket Trophy for the third time, fighting back from 2-0 down to beat Greenfields 4-2 at Serpentine Avenue.

In truth, they were the stand-out side in the final, winning 13 penalty corners which they eventually made tell. It was a similar story in the semi-final when they trailed to NUIG before running out 2-1 winners.

The tie, indeed, looked to be one-way traffic in the opening stages as they ran up four penalty corners in the first four minutes but nothing would stick for them in a frustrating spell.

Then, out of the blue, Greenfields forged an attack through Rebecca Gilligan with the ball worked through to Alacoque McGovern alone around the p-spot. She took her time before shooting through the defences of Sarah Wrixon for a seventh minute lead.

Again, C of I went forward with purpose with Hannah Honner a livewire bursting down the right flank with Hollie Moffett and Mel Ryan driving things on.

Sarah Dunleavy and Aine Collins performed heroics at the back to stymie the waves of attacks and they once again took their chance when it came in the 23rd minute.

This time, Charlotte Elliott got off a shot that Sarah Wrixon got down brilliantly to deny but Meabh Holden followed up on her reverse to slide in for 2-0.

Things got worse for the Cork side when Holly Sweetnam was shown a yellow before half-time and a couple more attacking corners went awry.

Their frustrations continued in the early stages of the second half with Moffett and the influential Nicola Kerr planting shots into the chest of Sinead Collins.

Moffett’s deflected corner shot hit the front of the post but their breakthrough eventually did come when Kerr crossed and Honner scrambled home the ball, 2-1 with 24 minutes to go.

It released the floodgates and they were level with 14 minutes to go when they went the direct route from corner number 11, Kay Gaffney smashing home, skipping their usual array of switches.

Honner then gave them the lead with less than 10 minutes to go, a superbly worked corner move with a touch in front of Sinead Collins.

Greenfields almost sent the tie to shoot-out when Aine Collins cracked a shot off the crossbar but the game was killed off when Kirsty Coombes tore through the centre of the field and slipped home the fourth goal.

Cork C of I: S Wrixon, H Sweetnam, N Kerr, C Sexton, R Kingston, O Crowley, A Roberts, A O’Mahony, J Coyne, E O’Hara, H Moffett, S Baker, H Honner, K Coombes, M Ryan, K Gaffney, J Barry, L McHugh

Greenfields: S Collins, S Dunleavy, K Dunleavy, R Gilligan, A McGovern, C Moore, T Garrett, S Tierney, J Anderson, A Finnerty, E O’Connor, C Elliott, A Hennessy, M Holden, Z O’Toole, A Collins, S Burke, J Langan

Umpires: C Brophy, R Christie

Stephen Findlater

Freelance Journalist