Women’s EuroHockey Club Champion’s Challenge I final
Hermes 3 (Audrey O’Flynn 2, Sinead Connery) Lille Metropole 1 (Gwenaelle Dutel)
Audrey O’Flynn’s double corner strike handed Hermes European gold in Wettingen as they claimed a fourth win in succession to impressively make it an Irish double in club competition.
It proved Hermes toughest game of the tournament as the French champions proved a fast and physical opposition.
The Booterstown club, though, have plenty of international quality and it came to bear in stunning fashion inside two minutes as they tore up the left wing, with Aine Connery cutting in and firing across to sister Sinead on the right edge of the circle.
She took aim delightfully, picking out a diagonal angle across goal which picked out the bottom corner and didn’t need the slide of Lisa Jacob to good measure.
Lille responded on 17 minutes as they benefitted from Kerry McComish’s sin-binning for a stick tackle. On the counter, the French side produced a similar pitch length move as Sol Parral moved the ball forward quickly and Charlotte Boyers worked the ball left where the overload was.
A hit from the left edge of the circle saw Gwenaelle Dutel tip in in front of Emma Gray (pictured, receiving goalkeeper of the tournament). The goalkeeper was forced into another couple of corners to preserve parity while Sinead McCarthy stood tall.
Lille’s indiscipline was proving costly, though with Dutel’s yellow in the second half following a green just before the break.. During the second suspension, O’Flynn netted with a low, deflected effort from their fifth corner down the stick side.
Hermes continued to carry good possession but Lille did win another two corners which Lisa Jacob was on hand to block well before Gray picked off an excellent save.
The winning line neared emphatically closer eight minutes from time when O’Flynn nailed her second drag of the game – and third of the tournament – and Hermes were celebrating a third European gold to match their 2006 success in Verona and Dublin.
Hermes: Emma Gray (GK), Sinead McCarthy, Kerry McComish, Christine Quinlan, Sinead Connery, Catriona McGilp, Gillian Pinder, Miriam Crowley, Lisa Jacob, Aine Connery, Audrey O’Flynn Subs: Rachel Burke, Eimear Horan, Aoife Harte, Mary Goode, Non-played squad members: Fiona Connery, Sarah Patton, Helen Kilroy
Lille: M Parent, L Lebaindre, M De Galzain, L J Hannebicque, M Blondel, J Parent, S Parral, S Dain, M Billore, I Lardeur, I Brabant Subs: C Boyers, J Mennesson, G Dutel, J Wouters
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