Men’s Division One:
Pembroke 0 YMCA 0
YMCA took Pembroke’s Leinster league destiny out of their own hands as Iain Walker produced a masterful performance between the posts, notably denying a 58th minute Craig Fulton stroke.
Perhaps struggling from the after effects of two tough games last weekend and an early morning Irish team gym session at 6am on the morning of the game, Pembroke started off in a sluggish manner. YM earned the only corner – comfortably saved by David Harte – of a first half played predominantly between the 25s.
Dave Robinson went off early in the second half with a very nasty looking shoulder injury as Pembroke began to pile on the pressure. Iain Walker stood up well to bat away Alan Sothern’s first corner – the first of six to go unconverted. Alan Giles’ delicate dink from five yards spun just wide of the post before Gordon Elliott shook the goal with a hammered volley as the YM goal lived a charmed life.
Richie Pedreschi charged down another Sothern corner before Patrick Good – in an effective six minute cameo – drew a full-length save from Walker. He also helped win the stroke, breaking into the circle and flipping the ball past Walker only for Paddy Conlon’s push to hit the body of Stephen Walker (pictured, right) – who had an excellent game marshalling Sothern – on the line.
But Iain Walker read Fulton’s intentions to go high to his right, having faced off numerous times in Ireland training sessions, and deflect over the bar.
As Pembroke’s charge forward became more desperate, YM began to pick off a few chances at the far end with Will Powderly and Cliff Bailey showing some sublime touches. Powderly’s 40-metre jink led to a corner which drew a brilliant Harte stick-save from Scott Mills’ drag.
And Luke Chadwick’s run created a three-on-one with just Harte to beat. Seemingly beaten, the Irish international recovered astonishingly to block the chance at the second attempt. The point means Pembroke now need a favour from elsewhere while if either Corinthian or Glenanne win all their remaining games, the league will be theirs.
Men’s Division Two
Navan 0 Bray 1 (Simon Cox)
Simon Cox’s second half strike gave Bray a deserved 1-0 win to lift the Co Wicklow club off the bottom of the table for the first time this year with their second win on the bounce. They created four decent chances, dealt with excellently by Emmett Moore, before the former Monkstown hitman popped up ten minutes from time to seal the win.