Cronin strike wins U-21 Cup for Pembroke

Avoca U-21 Cup final: Pembroke 2 Monkstown 1
Pembroke overcame Monkstown 2-1 in the final of the Avoca U-21 Cup last week, having overcome Clontarf and Three Rock Rovers en route to the final.

The decider was played out on a wet and miserable night in Serpentine Avenue to end Monkstown’s three-year run of dominance in the competition.

Led by Karl Lynch, Pembroke started the stronger against a fancied sky-blue opposition who had turned the tables on UCD in the semi-final on the other side of the draw.

After a series of quality passes among the back four, the ball was quickly moved forward and fell nicely to Kirk Shimmins who weaved some magic to earn the first corner of the game. A neat switch to injector George Dagg saw him deflect the high into the net over Lee Cole on the line.

But the Town fought back in style and forced an equaliser soon after and kept the pressure up until the half-time whistle with keeper Peter Collins making a number of unorthodox saves, including a memorable one with his face.

Michael Styles and Mairtin Cronin, meanwhile, were keeping the sky-blue playmakers at bay to keep parity and it provided a base to get a better foothold in the game in the second period.

Eric Foy and Shimmins were pulling the strings in midfield with Lynch causing general mischief across the park. Jack Walsh had a great effort saved on the line but the winner came with six minutes left when another corner was dispatched, this time by Cronin with a high deflection from a Dave Kane drag-flick.

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