Pembroke repeated their All-Ireland Club Championships penalty stroke victory over Glenanne from the 2008 in a bizarre match at Serpentine Avenue to advance to the ISC final, adding yet another chapter to the intense rivalry between the teams.
The sides cannot seem to produce a regular match and while the hockey, at times, may not have matched the heights of prior encounters, the intrigue level certainly did.
Indeed, seven yellow cards – including three for the Glens in a tetchy ten minute period – tells just part of the story of an incredible spectacle.
Maurice Elliott gave the hosts the lead in the opening quarter, scoring from close range at the third phase of a penalty corner after Steven Doran rebuffed both Alan Sothern and Gordon Elliott’s efforts.
Much of the rest of the half was played in between the 25s but the temperature began to rise as a few niggly tackles entered the game. Alan Browne was the first to go into the bin, starting a domino effect as the umpires added Paul Fitzpatrick and Graham Shaw to the TD’s bench – all receiving yellow for dissent.
The Glens played the period with eight well and limited Pembroke to just a trio of half-chances rather than anything more substantial. Getting the players back onto the pitch also proved problematic. Browne returned as per usual but confusion reigned as Warren McCully only intended Fitzpatrick to return but Shaw followed onto the pitch at the same time.
He was subsequently returned to the bin to serve the remainder of his suspension.
Into the second half, the cards continued to be dished out. Craig Fulton and Alan Sothern both received lengthy bans for bad tackles while Johnny Goulding became the fourth Glenane player to serve time for dissent.
Paddy Conlon (pictured right) had the game’s best chance to seal the result, creating an exceptional opening after mugging Graham Shaw on his own 25. His exchange with Justin Sherriff saw the former Irish international create room down the endline before squaring for Conlon who inexplicably missed an open goal. In a tough affair, Sherriff would later take a break as he was left badly cut while Michael O’Connor was another injury victim with a hefty blow to his ankle confining him to the sidelines.
The Glens let three corner chances slip by, the pick of them gloved onto the bar by David Harte before Brendan Parsons was attributed with the equaliser, though Alan Giles’ stick had a large part to play in re-directing an edge of the circle past David Harte.
Sherriff handed the early initiative to Glenanne, hitting the post with the first stroke but Graham Shaw’s effort was blocked by Harte to make things all-square by round four. Round five of penalties produced no winner so sudden death ensued.
Stephen Butler, changing his usual technique of starting side on to the ball, saw his effort kept out by Harte’s boot leaving Fulton to complete a truly enthralling win and keep alive hopes of retaining the title.
The ‘Broke’s final opponents will be made known next Saturday when Cookstown play Annadale in the second semi-final. Cookstown made it a particularly sweet couple of days for the club as they ousted Banbridge at the quarter-final stage with goals from Greg Allen and Ivan Steen. Eugene Magee recovered from a foot injury to get the Bann response.
It makes for a big day at Coolnafranky next Saturday with Cookstown hosting an ISC/IJC double-header.
Goals from Irish internationals Roisin Flinn and Lisa Jacob augmented Catriona McGlip’s effort in a handsome 3-1 win. It sets up an intriguing tie with fellow students, the Ulster Elks who beat Corinthian by a single goal. The pair have never met before in this competition and avoided each other in this year’s Intervarsities, too, so both go into unknown territory.
Railway Union will now look to focus on the leagues as they dropped out of the running for a cup for the second time in four days as Ballymoney’s home strength proved too much, taking the honours 5-2. A first Leinster league title now becomes the major focus.
Pegasus, meanwhile, were too strong for Lurgan and won 3-0 courtesy of Suzanne Beaney’s hat-trick.
Men’s Irish Senior Cup
Semi Final: Pembroke Wanderers 1 (Maurice Elliott) Glenanne 1 (Brendan Parsons) Pembroke win 5-4 on strokes
Quarter Final: Cookstown 2 (Greg Allen, Ivan Steen) Banbridge 1 (Eugene Magee)
ESB Irish Senior Cup – Quarter Finals
Lurgan 0 Pegasus 3 (Suzanne Beaney 3); Ballymoney 5 (Nikki Parke 2, Lyndsey McVicker, Bridget Cleland 2) Railway Union 2 (Kate Dillon, Jean McDonnell); Ulster Elks 1 (Caroline Smith) Corinthian 0; Belfast HQ 1 (Jenna Watt) UCD 3 (Catriona McGlip, Roisin Flinn, Lisa Jacob)
Semi Final draw: Pegasus v Ballymoney; UCD v Ulster Elks