March kicked off with an exciting start for Clonakilty Hockey Club who tackled a tough Wexford side in the Semi-Final of the Irish Challenge cup this past Saturday. With both Divisions 3 and 4 leagues and the possibility of a Division 3 cup also on the cards by this seasons close, the ladies are attempting to add to their winning repertoire by going after a national cup also.
The ladies came away with a 6-0 victory and now find themselves in a national final for the first time in the clubs history. With some outstanding goals from Freda Buttimer, Susie Forristall, two for Patricia Moloney and a super goal and penalty flick for Vice-captain Hilary Chapple, the wealth of support that attended the game saw a fantastic display of hockey for a Saturday afternoon.
This national competition sees a series of talented squads battle it out for a place in the final, which will take place over two days on April 12 and 13 in UCD’s Belfield pitch. Under guidance from coach Melvin Beamish and assisted by his two brothers Darren and Gavin Beamish, the girls are very fortunate to have ample coaching expertise at their disposal. Captain Nicola O’Donovan says that this is an exciting time for the team, “We are delighted to be part of a national completion and even more delighted to be doing so well. It’s a great achievement for the team and we’re really excited to be playing up in Bellfield in April.” The girls have yet to find out who they are playing with the other semi-final in the coming weeks between Botanics of Dublin and Raphoe of Donegal.
Dubbed by their sponsors as the ‘De Barras Hocekttes’ the girls are grateful to have the support of the local folk club again this year. Keep an eye out for regular fundraising events that take place there where you can help support the team in the coming months.