Neville Cup Final: Pembroke 1 TRR 6

Three Rock won the Neville Cup for the first time since 2002, beating an almost unrecognisable Pembroke side comprehensively.

The tie was effectively sealed by half-time as Rovers converted three of their four penalty corners last Sunday against a team that retained only Patrick Good, Gordon Elliott and Alan Sothern from their semi-final side that overcame Glenanne.

Three Rock, for their part, were bolstered prior to tip-off by the clearance of both Mitch Darling and Andy McConnell to play, despite arriving back from international duty just two days previously.

In a fairly lifeless opening, Pembroke had a couple of half chances, Dougie Good first unlucky not to get a corner after Gordy Elliott’s run and then missing a sharp chance after Morris Elliott crossed.

And so it was that Rovers scored from their first shot. It came from a Peter McConnell penalty corner, awarded for Pembroke failing to retreat five yards at a long corner.

McConnell doubled the advantage from his side’s second corner, pushing low into the right hand corner.

And the first half scoring was complete from Rovers’ fourth corner, Kyle Good improvising well from a bad push-out to fire to the back post to the waiting Michael Maguire tapped home.

After a first half of few chances, the second opened up a lot more, with Rovers creating a host of chances. Tim Hill and Kyle Good both missed chances close in, before the Good – recently called into the Irish under 18 squad – got a deserved fourth.

Andy McConnell latched onto the ball at the top of the D to feed Tim Hill on the left. He dinked the ball over the onrushing Ken Mulcare and Good made no mistake from, slamming home from three yards.

Rovers had, at this point, managed to rotate the bench to give another Irish under 18 player, Stephen West his first team debut in goal.

Good set up Andy McConnell for the fifth moments later before Pembroke rallied with a scrambled effort to bring the score back to 5-1 with ten minutes remaining.

Gary Ringwood, though, rounded up the scoring with a delicate one-handed effort in the closing moments.

Afterwards, on receiving the gigantic Neville Cup, Rovers skipper Peter McConnell said “It’s always nice to win against Pembroke especially up here [in their ground].”

It will be argued, though, that the nature of the Pembroke opposition may dull the victory somewhat especially with a number of senior players not playing despite being in the country and fit to play.

As it was, with five players making their Pembroke firsts competitive debuts, Rovers found it a lot easier to inflict the Ballsbridge side’s first defeat since January.

Pembroke: Ken Mulcaire, Alan Sothern, Douglas Good, Rowan Pearson, Paudie Carley, Patrick Good, Duncan McKeen, Scott Lowry, Stuart Loughrey, Morris Elliott, Gordon Elliott
Subs: Michael Tijs, Simon Walsh, Stuart Garrett, Conor McDermott

TRR: Charlie Henderson, Michael Maguire, Gavin Bourke, Neil Lyons, Alan Bothwell, Mitch Darling, Colin Huet, Tim Hill, Gary Ringwood, Pierre Quesnel, Peter McConnell
Subs: Ross Varian, Stephen Macken, Kyle Good, Stephen West, Andy McConnell

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