Pembroke and Corinthian advance to Mills Cup final

Farcical scenes at Grange Road today as the Mills Cup semi-finals were delayed by an hour and a half as a mix-up in communications left supporters, players and umpires frustrated.

It will remain the enduring memory of the day where hockey and it’s promotion was the big loser on the day.

Pembroke and Monkstown had been informed their game was to get underway at 12pm but when they took to the pitch to warm-up at 11.30am, they found Three Rock’s junior section still with an hour left on their pitch allocation due to their long-standing arrangement to use the pitch every Sunday of the season between 9am to 1pm.

The issue was further compounded as no barman was available to provide sustenance for supporters already made to wait for what should have been a showcase event for Leinster hockey.

Clear answers have been hard to come by while conflicting reasons have been offered to The Hook as to how the situation arose but the net result was Pembroke and Monkstown’s tip-off time was moved back to 1.30pm.
Pembroke 2 (Maurice Elliott, Justin Sherriff) Monkstown 1 (Francis Lee) aet
Perhaps as a result of their long wait, the two sides flew out of the blocks in a frantic opening with hard and fast balls flashing from end to end. The Town opened the scoring from their first corner, Franny Lee sliding the ball under David Harte after the international keeper had made two fine saves.

But within three minutes Maurice Elliott had made it 1-1, applying the finishing touch to Justin Sherriff’s run and cross down the left flank. Pembroke bossed the remainder of the half but a series of crosses could only find deflections into the side-netting.

The second half was less frantic with Pembroke holding sway in the early stages of the half before Monkstown got back into it and had the best of the last 15 minutes. Clear-cut chances were not in abundance, though, and extra-time beckoned.

Sherriff created the best opportunity of the first seven and a half minute period but his cross after a lovely left wing run went just behind Maurice Elliott. However, the former sealed the tie with an absolute piledriver from a penalty corner, leaving the Town with next to no time to fight back.

Corinthian 4 (Mark Magner, Brian Doherty, Andrew Sutton, Darren Kimfley) YMCA 1 (Mikey Fry)
A low-key first half saw Corinthian and YMCA go into the break scoreless. Mikey Fry had gone closest, hitting the outside of the post with a flying volley after Richie Miles had made the original inroads, stealing the ball on halfway and feeding the veteran midfielder.

Early on, Chris Pelow had been influential to create good chances for both Rowland Rixon-Fuller and Miles Warren but neither could get clean shots off.

Fry, though, got on the scoresheet with a reverse-sweep into the net after David Robinson broke into the circle and squared.

It precipitated a strong Corinthian fight-back with four goals in jig-time. Mark Magner deflected in to level the tie before Brian Doherty nailed a low drag-flick. He went high with his next effort but pinged the bar. No matter, Andrew Sutton volleyed into the ground to make it 3-1 before Darren Kimfley scored the goal of the game.

He controlled a cracked long-corner beautifully on the spin, setting himself perfectly to bang in an unstoppable upright reverse to visibly shake the goal.

* To see pictures from Pembroke vs Monkstown click here and for Corinthian vs YMCA, click here

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