Pembroke produced a four-star performance to claim the EuroHockey Club Trophy for Ireland – emulating Glenanne’s achievement in the inaugural event last year – with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Russia’s Dinamo Elektrostal.
Alan Sothern was again the hitman supreme as he scored goals six, seven and eight for the tournament with his second hat-trick in four days. Indeed, all four goals came from corners as Conor Harte – who, along with his brother David, returned after a day’s absence due to a family funeral -netted the fourth goal of the day from the set-piece.
Sothern broke the deadlock in the tenth minute, doubling up nine minutes later to give Pembroke a healthy lead. They were further aided by Alexey Mamoshkin’s sin-binning but were unable to capitalise further before the break.
Sothern completed his hat-trick soon after the turnaround but his side were forced to endure a testing period as Mick O’Connor and Tim Lewis were both binned at the same time with Alexandr Tcherekov joining them on the sideline as it became ten versus nine.
David Harte pulled off a series of fine saves during that time to deny Elektrostal any momentum and block any thoughts of a comeback.
And rather than hold out, Pembroke went in search of more goals. Conor Harte added the fourth before Sothern had a late chance for number five but let a penalty stroke ch
It mattered little as Pembroke completed the tournament in brilliant style with the added bonus that, subject to verification by the EHL, Ireland should receive two berths in next season’s competition, leap-frogging Russia and Scotland to be the eighth ranked European team in the club rankings.
For the ‘Broke, it could be the start of a bumper month of trophy-hunting with the Leinster league, the ISC and IHL all up for decision in the coming weeks.
* For more of Rob O’Connor’s pictures from today’s final, click here and for Adrian Boehm’s pictures, click here. Tom Daly’s pictures from the tournament can also be seen here