Andy Ewington’s remarkable short corner prowess helped Monkstown end 99 years of hurt with a rip-roaring 5-4 Irish Senior Cup victory over Pembroke Wanderers at Belfield yesterday.
The New Zealander nailed three drag-flicks as his side fought from 3-1 down to break Three Rock Rovers’ hearts in Saturday’s semi-final.
Pembroke also came from two goals down to draw with Banbridge and see them off on penalties.
In the final, Davy Carson and Ewington gave Monkstown a 2-0 lead but Alan Sothern’s 41st and 42nd goals of the season levelled it early in the second half. Ewington rocketed home another drag before Sothern got a beautiful touch to George Dagg’s cross for 3-3. Monkstown’s Gareth Watkins saw a penalty stroke saved by Mark Ingram while Andrew Ward missed an open net for the Rathdown side, necessitating silver goal extra-time; three goals followed in a thrilling five minutes.
Ward thought he’d won it but back came Pembroke through Ronan Flannery, before Ewington dragged home the winner with seconds to go — his eighth strike from just 12 short corners.
Meanwhile, a controlled midfield performance from Railway Union helped them dislodge UCD as women’s Irish Senior Cup holders, winning 3-2 against the students.
Sarah Greene put UCD in front inside 80 seconds but Emer Lucey’s corner bash levelled it up eight minutes later. Emma Smyth’s stunning solo run was ended with a crisp reverse for 2-1 but Caroline Hill levelled for UCD 12 seconds before half-time. But Alex Speers played in Zara Delany for what proved to be the winner midway through the second half.
Elsewhere, UCC endured horrible luck as their bid to qualify for the Irish Hockey League for the first time came a cropper at the hands of Corinthian (2-1) at Garryduff.
Fionn O’Leary’s half-volley cancelled out Karl Smith’s long-range deflection for the visitors, but College had a goal disallowed late on before Matt Fairweather — brought back from South Africa specifically for this game — dragged home the winner after a contentious short corner was awarded 15 seconds from time. Lisnagarvey ended UL’s Irish Hockey Trophy dreams, winning their semi-final 2-1 in Limerick.
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