Reigning champs fall as Pembroke, Glens and Railway push forth

Both of last season’s finalists fell by the wayside in round two of the Irish Senior Cup as Cookstown and Monkstown came out the worse for wear from provincial derbies.

For the latter, it was 2008 final nemesis Pembroke who nabbed the win on penalty strokes despite never having led the game in normal time. Richard Sykes’ drag-flick had given the Town the lead at Rathdown against an under strength Pembroke who were without Adam Pritchard due to a broken nose sustained in the past week while South African Matt Brown is back in his homeland following the end of his three-month visa.

They battled back to level with Alan Sothern credited with getting on the end of a good team move but Frank Ryan put the hosts back in front. Tim Hill sent it to extra time with his second goal of the campaign, rounding off a full pitch move with a diving touch to Gordon Elliott’s cracked cross.

Soon after, Richard Sykes was sin-binned for a coming together with Alan Sothern but the Town survived the corner and no goals in extra-time lead to penalties.

Both sides missed in the second round of strokes but Pembroke held their nerve in the shoot-out better – David Williamson pulling off one particularly impressive save – with Tim Lewis potting the winner.

Hugh McShane was Banbridge’s hero as he hit home their winner against Cookstown at Coolnafranky, gaining some manner of revenge for their IHL defeat after Ross McCandless and Greg Allen had traded goals.

Railway Union are also in the shake-up after they produced an assured performance to beat Three Rock Rovers 5-2 with Mark English their beating heart. He created the first with a sweet pull-back for Richie Forrest to sweep in before Jeremy Duncan rolled home calmly from another good counter.

Peter Blakeney pulled one back but two goals in 90 seconds before half-time killed the tie as Fiachra Maher touched in Ravin Nair’s ball and Peter English flicked home. Peter McConnell picked up a nasty ankle injury which curtailed his involvement, though, and could be out for a couple of weeks.

Railway will next play Glenanne next as the Tallaght men kept alive their chances with a 3-1 win over UCD, welcoming Clive Kennedy back to the fray after a lengthy time out. Gary Shaw netted another double to make it 12 goals in all competitions this term.

Cork Harlequins are keeping the Munster flag flying on a poignant weekend, a year since the sudden passing of Andrew Chambers. They built a good first half lead with Paul Lombard continuing his fine form before Annadale fought back but too late to get anything from the game.

City rivals C of I were well beaten by Lisnagarvey who cruised into a 4-0 lead before Phil Smith grabbed a pair, handing the Lisburn side their second win in Garryduff in the past three weeks. Graham Bittle was on the mark for Garvey in his first game for the club’s first team in seven years.

It earned them a home date with Pembroke when the competition gets back into gear next May 12 with the quarter-finals rescheduled in the wake of the Olympic qualifier tournament. The semi-final and final are due to be played a week later.
Ulster Premier sides Instonians and NICS completed the tournament’s main draw with wins over Mossley and Belfast Harlequins respectively.

Men’s Irish Senior Cup, round two: UCD 1 (Shane Nolan) Glenanne 3 (Gary Shaw 2, Jonathan Kane); Cork C of I 2 (Phil Smith 2) Lisnagarvey 4 (Graham Bittle, Peter MacDonnell, Andy Forrest, Stevie Arbuthnot); Cookstown 1 (Greg Allen) Banbridge 2 (Ross McCandless, Hugh McShane); Cork Harlequins 3 (Dave Eakins, John Hobbs, Paul Lombard) Annadale 2 (Peter Caruth, Neil Hamilton); Monkstown 2 (Richard Sykes, Frank Ryan) Pembroke 2 (Alan Sothern, Tim Hill), Pembroke won 4-1 on strokes; Railway Union 5 (Richie Forrest, Jeremy Duncan, Fiachra Maher, Peter English, Rob Abbott) Three Rock Rovers 2 (Peter Blakeney 2); Instonians 4 (Steven Redpath, Stuart McWilliams, Paul Gleghorne, Chris Kirk) Mossley 2 (James Lorimer 2); Belfast Harlequins 1 NICS 2 (Chris Barnes, Peter Johnston)

Men’s Irish Senior Cup, quarter-final (May 12, 2012): Railway Union v Glenanne; Lisnagarvey v Pembroke; Cork Harlequins v Banbridge; NICS v Instonians

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