Monkstown II claimed men’s division three for the third year in-a-row this season under the captaincy of Donal O’Mearain, winning 17 of their games with just a single loss, coming at the hands of Trinity II.
Coached by Alun Evans and managed by Tommy Allen, the treble winning team of 2010 were keen to replicate success but it was not to be on the cup front, losing away in icy conditions to eventual winners Lisnagarvey in the Irish Junior Cup and again in Glenanne Park in extra time of a Railway cup quarter final.
While the league virtually sewn up, they confirmed the title without recourse to any rivals points deductions, they got the better of Pembroke in Rathdown to confirm top spot, producing one of their best performances, running out 6-0 winners.
This upset did not derail the league campaign as it was immediately followed by a crucial win against eventual second placed team Pembroke in Serpentine Avenue and, with rival teams taking points off each other, Monkstown continued at the top of the table.
They were only once knocked off to spot subsequently when Pembroke played three extra games towards the end of the season to edge 2 points clear.
Throughout the season there were several shining lights. Ross Watkins returned after a 14-month lay-off to bang in the goals while Ben Wallace, Kilkenny college alumnus, became the poacher-in-chief.
Frank Ryan surged to the fore towards the end of the season with 14 goals in 4 games while several younger players emerged during the season with youngsters Lee Cole, Conor Stephens, David Watkins and Aran Rooney impressing when called upon.
Older heads like Runar O’Moore and Gavin O’Halloran ran the midfield while Rob Mason, O’Mearain and occasionally Dan Poff kept things safe at the back. Craig Ellis was as always great in goal and, if it weren’t for Dave Fitzgerald, would get many more first team appearances.
** Words with thanks to David Varian
** The Hook will be posting league reviews and round-ups for Leinster men’s divisions 3-8 and women’s 2-14 in the coming weeks. This does require a reasonable amount of contributions to improve their accuracy so feel free to mail in with how your side did, who were the key players, results, coaches etc. The address to contact is email@example.com