Leinster will make up five of the last eight men’s Irish Senior Cup entrants on a day when a number of sides raided Ulster with success
Peter Blakeney’s incredible five-goal salvo kept Three Rock Rovers’ bid for a first Irish Senior Cup since 1974 alive as they saw off Instonians at Shawsbridge with the odd goal in eleven.
In a truly wild tie Rovers were shy Peter McConnell, Alan Bothwell and Ali Haughton from their regular back four rotation. Inst had built a 2-1 inside nine minutes as Paul Gleghorne’s drag was quickly cancelled out by Mitch Darling before Matt Martin’s crash ball found its way into the goal.
From there, though, Blakeney took hold with a four-minute hat-trick to see Rovers seemingly cruising at 4-2, applying two corner goals and a sharp finish from Shane Madeley’s assist.
But player-coach Marl Irwin – just moments after he made his entry to the game – got one back and William Robinson’s reverse tied matters at 4-4. No sooner had they done this than Blakeney slammed home on the spin with eight minutes to go and added another soon after before Alan Paterson got one back.
It sets up a date with Kilkeel next weekend at Grange Road as they showed a clean set of heels to Avoca, winning 5-1 in McAuley Park.
Pembroke, meanwhile, picked off a huge result in Ulster too as they prevailed on penalty strokes against IHL champions Lisnagarvey. Mark Ingram proved the hero as he once again showed his liking for saving penalties as he blocked two efforts in his side’s 3-1 win in the shoot-out.
Timmy Cockram’s early drag put Garvey ahead but Maurice Elliott’s trickery opened the path for Alan Sothern to thrash home a first half equaliser. And it was a scoreline which remained despite Adam Pritchard and Elliott shipping yellow cards and Garvey creating a couple of strong chances.
But Ingram made a number of good interventions to ensure extra-time and ultimate success and a trip to Milltown next weekend in the quarter-finals.
Krystian Makowski’s first half trio formed part of a comprehensive dismissal of intervarsity champions UCC 9-0, a result which trimmed Munster’s quarter-final involvement to a single entrant. Ben Campbell scored his first senior goal in the tie.
The sole survivors are reigning champions Cork Harlequins who edged past Cookstown 1-0 courtesy of Darren Beamish’s debut goal in the second half, finding room in a crowded circle to fire home.
Monkstown set up a home date with Railway Union in another all-Leinster quarter-final as they finished stronger against UCD in a bitty tie, filled with aggression but not much finesse. Twice the sides were level, Patrick Shanahan’s effort over-turned by a Gareth Watkins double before David Watkins got a slight touch to Shane O’Donoghue’s tracer into the circle.
From there, Town turned the screw in the closing quarter, enjoying most of the possession against a deep-lying UCD and eventually found a way through when Richard Sykes’ drag was guided in by Lee Cole. As cards flew for both teams, Frank Ryan then nicked a fourth picking Keith Kenning’s pocket on halfway and tearing into the circle to slip through Conor Quinn’s defences, ending the tie 4-2.
Railway’s passage was more comfortable, easing past NICS 7-0 with Peter English netting a triple, making it five Leinster sides in the final eight.
Fingal bowed out, however, at the hands of Banbridge who just about shaded their tie at ALSAA. Bruce McCandless opened the scoring after Warren McCully allowed Philip Brown a good advantage to set up the effort. But the greens bounced back on the stroke of half-time to equalise with Luke Hayden netting at corner time.
Dane Ward had the final say, though, his neat turn and strike the defining moment in the 2-1 win and they will now travel to Farmer’s Cross to play Cork Harlequins in a repeat of last season’s quarters, a tie Quins won 2-1.
Men’s Irish Senior Cup: Instonians 5 (Paul Gleghorne, own goal, Mark Irwin, William Robinson, Alan Paterson) Three Rock Rovers 6 (Peter Blakeney 5, Mitch Darling); Lisnagarvey 1 (Timmy Cockram) Pembroke 1 (Alan Sothern), Pembroke win 3-1 on strokes; Cork Harlequins 1 (Darren Beamish) Cookstown 0; Kilkeel 5 Avoca 1 (Alistair Addison); NICS 0 Railway Union 7 (Peter English 3, Rob Abbott, Mark English, Karl Chapple, Rob Devlin); UCD 2 (Patrick Shanahan, David Watkins) Monkstown 4 (Gareth Watkins 2, Lee Cole, Frank Ryan); YMCA 9 (Krystian Makowski 3, Declan Spencer 2, Ian McHugh, Jamie Tobin, Phil Powderly, Ben Campbell) UCC 0; Fingal 1 (Luke Hayden) Banbridge 2 (Dane Ward, Bruce McCandless)
Quarter-final draw: Cork Harlequins v Banbridge; Monkstown v Railway Union; Three Rock Rovers v Kilkeel; YMCA v Pembroke Wanderers