Gash strikes to win cup for Quins

Cork Harlequins 4 Cork Church of Ireland 3

The win, in a splendidly contested decider against great rivals Cork Church of Ireland, marked a hat-trick of Cup successes but, more importantly, Quins had put one over on the newly crowned national club championship winners.

The game was special in that it pitted the club champions of last season against the 2003 winners and no fewer than eight current internationals paraded their skills in an absorbing tie.

Church of Ireland, chasing a Munster League and Cup double, looked likely to achieve their target when they gained a 2-0 lead after 21 minutes. John Jermyn had given them the lead in the 6th minute with a penalty stroke conversion and Alastair Dunne hit the second following some magical play by Andy Chambers, Philip Smith and Jermyn.

Harlequins had more of the play after this but failed to make a few chances pay. That was until the very last minute of the half when the always threatening David Eakins struck for what was to prove a crucial goal.

It provided Quins with the launching pad for a renewed assault on the opposition in the second half. And they grabbed the opportunity in style with a deserved equaliser in the 45th minute when John Hobbs somehow squeezed the ball under the pads of goalkeeper Mark Ruddle following another penalty corner.

Harlequins were now playing with more urgency but they were rocked by a C of I goal in the 51st min when Alastair Dunne used all his experience to win a penalty corner and ace scorer Jermyn applied the finishing touch yet again.

The Farmers Cross side then forced two penalty corners before Richard Gash applied the finishing touch to an Eakins cross to square matters once again.

With four minutes remaining, Eakins’ pinpoint cross was smashed to the net in spectacular style by Gash.

Gash’s brilliant strike proved the winner in a game made all the more enjoyable by the umpiring of Ulster officials Craig Porter and Warren McCully.

*The hockey season comes to a close tomorrow when Bandon Grammar School, chasing a League and Cup double, meet Ashton School in the Munster Schoolboys Minor Cup final at Ashton Grounds (3.00).

CORK HARLEQUINS: W Bateman, M Pedersen, J Hobbs, P Chambers, S Nicholson, D Eakins, J Black, R Gash, E Gash, P McLaughlin, C Brady, D Egner, R Hobbs, B Hayes Curtin, D Lombard, N Bryan.

CORK CHURCH OF IRELAND: M Ruddle, K Burns, P Smith, D Hales, R Dorman, A Chambers, R Arnopp, A Dunne, J Jermyn, N Buttimer, D Hobbs, J Bruton, S Parker, A Moffatt, S Deane, A Whittaker.

Umpires: C Porter and W McCully (Ulster Branch); Technical Officer: J Rose (Munster Branch).

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