Ewington once again the Monkstown hero with drag-flick double

Mills Cup final
Monkstown 4 (A Ewington 2, S Cole, A Ward) Three Rock Rovers 3 (P Blakeney 2, P McConnell)

Comeback kid Andy Ewington was the unlikely hero as the New Zealander capped a stunning Monkstown comeback to land a second Leinster senior Mills Cup title in three years, seeing off Three Rock Rovers 4-3 at Grange Road.

They came back from a 3-1 deficit with Ewington firing home twice including the clincher four minutes from time with a ripping drag-flick.

He had form in this regard, scoring twice in the 2011 final win over Glenanne but has scarcely played for the first team in the past season due to external commitments.

But Graham Shaw called on his services in the wake of a spate of late injuries as he needed a set-piece expert to take the place of Richard Sykes who was absent along with senior internationals Davy Carson and Kyle Good. The latter, a former Rovers man, fell foul of appendicitis on the eve of the game.

In a cagey opening, they started off brightly with Andrew Ward nicking the ball away from Ali Haughton inside the circle and firing home the first goal.

Rovers, though, have an experienced look this term and, with Michael Maguire to the fore, played their way into the lead, winning a number of penalty corners.

Peter Blakeney scored from the first before Peter McConnell finished off the third on the half-time hooter from a finely worked move after an initially off course push out.

And the Rathfarnham side looked well set when Johnny McCormack’s crisp cross was controlled by Mitch Darling and rolled into Blakeney’s path to record his second of the day.

Monkstown responded quickly, Ewington bringing it back to 3-2 with 26 minutes left as Rovers corner routine broke down horribly at the far end.

Stephen Cole scored a beauty to level matters, twisting both ways before unleashing a reverse-stick rocket, making for a cracking finish as the game opened up markedly.

Dave Fitzgerald’s double save from Blakeney was a big moment while Rovers were initially awarded a stroke when Jody Hosking’s shot hit Ewington’s body in front of goal. An umpire’s consultation downgraded the decision to a penalty corner that was fluffed.

Monkstown’s set-piece had no such kinks and they got their chance at the death when Gareth Watkins brilliantly took down a Stephen West clearance and won the vital corner.

Ewington bulldozed it through the corner defence with little time for a Rovers riposte. They will get their chance for revenge in five day’s time though in the Irish Senior Cup semi-finals.

Monkstown: D Fitzgerald, L Cole, N Dee, G Groves, G Shaw, D Cole, A Ward, S Cole, G Watkins, F Ryan, A Ewington
Subs: J Beirne, R Watkins, R O’Moore, G O’Halloran

Three Rock Rovers: W Armstrong, J Brennan, G Bourke, A Haughton, P Blakeney, M Maguire, J McCormack, M Darling, P McConnell, G Ringwood, C Huet
Subs: B Parsons, A Bothwell, J Hosking, C Huet, S West

Umpires: G Caulwell, S O’Connor

Monkstown

  • bluewall

    Well done the “Town” – Nice to see a bit of silverware for Vipers mantlepiece.

    Now lets go win that elusive ISC before we exceed the RedSox curse in years – perhaps its the Hector Legg curse instead of the Bambino’s but 4 final losses since the last win seens excessive.

  • Anon

    Whats wrong with Sykes,Carson and Good?

  • The Sykesy Squadrant

    Sykes was throwing bombs in training last week and one went off accidentally in his vicinity. Luckily due to his shear size he was not harmed but is unable to throw bombs until he recovers mentally

  • Stephen Findlater

    I understand Richard Sykes and Davy Carson were injured for the game but could be in contention for next week; Kyle Good had appendicitis over the weekend which ruled him out of this final at very short notice.

  • Shocked

    On a worrying note for Irish club hockey & European rankings. I was down in Cork for the weekend & went to see the Munster cup final. Cork Harlequins, Ireland’s reps in Europe, were beaten 6 nil in the final & they are a very unfit and out of condition squad. They looked like a team in pre-season training.

  • herewegoagain

    I agree with Shocked,Cork Harlequins performance is key for Irish hockey to get 2 teams into the EHL on the back of Lisnagarveys fine performance so far.
    The IHA should be insuring that teams who represent them in European competitions are properly prepared and understand their responsibilities.
    The last time a team went badly prepared to Europe Avoca managed to get relegated to the then Division C(clubsranked 17-24) ,it took Irish teams 4 years to get back to the top rank.

  • Agreed

    Cork Church of Ireland were also relegated from Division B to Division C in 2004 & that set us back as well.

  • Bill, Eamon, John and Liam

    Can someone please explain to me how Mr. Ewington is allowed play for Monkstown 2′s?

    Regards
    Bill, Eamonn, John and Liam

  • herewegoagain

    This is where he has been registered all season as he could not commit to training or availability on weekends for games.He has played 10 games for Monkstown 2nds and 3 for the firsts,all first team appearances have been in March.

  • Sour grapes

    Sykes was injured and Ewington stepped up to the plate. Just cos he can flick doesn’t mean he can only play 1′s. build a bridge pal.

  • Spectator

    As a completely neutral spectator at last Sunday’s games, can I just say how disgusted I was at the behaviour of the man behind the goal clearly there in support of Monkstown. Shouting directly behind the TRR pusher during corners was so un-sportsman-like and completely uncalled for. Monsktown were deserved winners but I feel this man does no good for their club and needs to get his act together and remember that Irish hockey needs to grow and be competitive but not be tarnished by idiots like him.
    Congrats to both Monkstown and Railway – the best teams won on the day and some great hockey on display

  • other spectator says

    shouting at a team to rush out hardly unsporting
    get a life

  • Shooter McGavin

    I see nothing wrong with a person standing there shouting “jackass”

  • avid spectator

    AGREE
    exhorting lads on line to rush out hard and fast when the dice loaded against them can hardly be construed to be unsporting and is arrant sanctimonious nonsense
    exciting weekend could be spoiled by weather
    hope not wrap up well spectators
    may the best team win

  • Watcher

    The railway lads were out of line with some of their chants during the women’s game. Support ur team, don’t abuse the opposition and chant easy, you’re not 8 year olds lads.

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