Good times keep rolling for Monkstown


Men’s Irish Junior Cup final
Monkstown II 2 (A Ewington 2) Banbridge II 1 (R McCandless)

Monkstown’s incredible season keeps rolling on and on as they landed three more titles this weekend, adding to their Irish Senior Cup and Mills Cup titles.

For a third major final in under a month, Andy Ewington’s drag-flicks were critical as he powered home a couple to overturn Banbridge’s early advantage.

But the side were hugely indebted to Craig Ellis who produced a man of the match performance between the posts with a string of saves, notably denying Ross McCandless on a couple of occasions.


Banbridge took the lead from a corner by McCandless’s stick only for Andy Ewington to equalise from another corner. In the second half the game became really tight but in a Monkstown break away, the blues won a corner and up stepped Ewington again to slot home.

As the game wore on, Monkstown soaked a lot of pressure with Jake Beirne, Andy Ewington and Bobby Mason excellent at the back with Shane Nolan having a great game in midfield.

They held on to land their second title in four years with a much changed side with the likes of U-16 players David Nolan, Jazze Henry and Geoff Cole playing their part.

It added to a memorable couple of days for the club. Their men’s third team, runaway leaders for so long in division four, finally confirmed the league crown while their women’s side closed out a league and cup double on Sunday with the division 5/6 cup title in Grange Road on Sunday.

Monkstown II: C Ellis, A Ewington, I Stuart, R Mason, J Beirne, D Poff (capt), A Nolan, Z Dutton, R O’Moore, F Ryan, S Nolan, J Byrnes, G Cole, J Henry, S Allen, G Brown, D Nolan, R Watkins

Banbridge II: R O’Neill, R Bell, D Anderson (capt), S Caruth, T Stergeon, J Burns, J McKee, T Watt, R Woods, B Cosgrove, D McCracken, A Reid, D McAnulty, S McCandless, R McCandless, J Rowe, M Hurst, W Malcolmson


    the real difference between the teams was
    Danny Ps sharp haircut

  • True Blue

    Hard luck to Banbridge,who were unfortunate to find Craig Ellis in such great form between the posts.They are always the best of competitors but the gods were with the Town on Sunday.I think all the Monkstown members should go out and buy a lotto ticket as one of us is sure to win it,because we are on such a roll at the moment.In fairness we have invested a lot of time in our colts/fillies section over the years which is now beginning to come to fruition.The Ladies section is also going from strength to strength ,and our U16s and U21s as well.The future for the Club is bright and blue!Well done to everyone who has done their bit,from a very proud True Blue.

  • rulesareajoke!!!!!

    cant see how its fair A Ewington was aloud to play the junior final after starting in the senior 1! hes had his glory the week before and just dont think its fair for the younger players who train hard all year and play in the junior leagues!

  • Forrest

    Was waiting for this comment. Not fair on the younger players? Look at the team.

    Not only are there very few that played any division 1 hockey this year, there are some exceptionally young players in that team including at least 4 schoolboys.

    And, on an extremely positive note for ‘town, barring Andy, everyone in that team came from Monkstown colts.

    I really hope this comment is from a Monkstown member who’s trolling me excellently right now.

    If it’s not a trolling comment, desist with this argument immediately or I will begin correcting your grammar and spelling.

  • Hockey Fan

    To explain to Rulesareajoke!!!!!Ewington has been registered with the 2s as he was not in a position to train and play more due to coaching committments. He has only recently been able to commit more in the past couple of months,and as his fitness level grew he got his chance in the 1st team panel.That was just the way it worked out and it is only in the past few weeks that his drag flicking routine has been so successful,which has been lucky for Monkstown.Ewingtons irregular availability earlier in the season actually gave a great opportunity to a few of our youngsters to gain valuable experience and pitch time with the 1’s and 2’s during the year, which I am sure will stand to them in the future.

  • Hockey Fan

    Forgot to mention in my previous article, Andy Ewington is not that ‘old’ by the way as Rulesareajoke!!!! seems to think.Only in his mid twenties and in his prime!! So he says!!

  • Bit of a drag

    I don’t think anyones accusing Monkstown of behaving improperly or questions that Andy played seconds and not firsts all year. It’s just a bit dsheartening to see both the Senior and Junior cup decided by the same persons drags. I think everyone can understand that. Monkstown have a great colts section and they deserve their success its just that seeing the same name in both finals makes people feel like the spirit of the rules are being broken if not the rules themselves.

  • Give over

    And what about the 6 1 win over Pembroke on Saturday last. All field goals apart from one corner rebound, none of which were scored by andy ?????? Get a life!!

  • Taeke Taekema

    Next sheason I will be playing for Monkshtown thirdsh. I will shcore in any finalsh. That ish all

  • confused

    As long as Ewington was a bone fide Junior cup player then whats the problem? Dropping someone from the 1sts on the grounds of irregular availability is a bone fide reason in my book.

  • N.I Hooker

    Firstly, Taeke Taekema….. genius!

    You cant blame the guy for being able to drag flick! A couple of years ago Chris Barnes decided he fancied a year playing for the PSNI in senior 2. It was ridiculous, he couldn’t run the length of himself but would roof every short corner they won. Note he is now back playing premier for NICS and still doing it! Difficult to take im sure and thats all I can offer, apart from protecting your feet!

  • Goalie Academy

    “Junior cup decided by the same persons drags”
    Craig Ellis was possessed! Unreal Saves

  • Mark Murray

    While the rules are as they are, every club plays their fringe 1st XI players in the IJC not just Monkstown. It’s just more noticeable because this particular player happens to drag flick.

    A simple solution is that if you play in the ISC (actually on the pitch) you can’t play IJC. This protects fringe 1st XI players who often just warm the bench in the big games (IHL/ISC) but also stops players getting dropped from the 2’s for their teams big games.

  • Guy

    Supposed to be top 13 players on order of merit registered for ISC and any other bona fide members can play IJC. Ewington was undoubtedly in the top 13 players in by order of merit, given how his drag flicks were the deciding factor in the ISC final.

    “every club plays their fringe 1st XI players in the IJC not just Monkstown”. Every club I’ve played for has registered their BEST 13 and these players have not played IJC. It’s a murky area, but clubs should have the honesty and integrity to play by the rules, instead of winning competitions “on a technicality”.

  • Too soon?

    @Guy – Were they to place Andy Ewington in their top 13 for the competition and he did not play in the Irish Senior Cup (which he did not until the finals weekend), Monkstown could have been found liable of placing a “blocker” on their Irish Senior Cup list to allow more players drop down to their IJC panel and create a similar debate about ethics etc.

    Only three players from the ISC finals day side – Runar O’Moore, Jake Beirne and Ewington – were involved in this squad. Numbers add up from what I see.

  • confused

    Perhaps a better idea would be that if you have played x of the previous y league fixtures for the 1st team then you can’t play the next Irish junior cup game.
    Of course this rule would be manipulated like any other but it would at least be harder to manipulate without hurting your clubs flagship.


    blah blah blah
    rules is rules
    none were broken
    Town just reward for youth development
    problem is going to be trying to hold
    onto that young talent
    other clubs will be surely interested
    in eh acquiring young talented new first team

  • Give over

    Oldest member on 1st team in monkstown is just 28 and youngest is just 18. Two Coles still in their teens…, the younger club members just have to bide their time and keep working hard. Oldest player on the pitch on 2nd team on Sunday was probably only 25…. Those are the facts……Young bunch!!!! …..applaud the success instead of always trying to find flaws with the success…. All a bit tiresome now!!!

  • Wrong un

    Sharpie is Older than 28!!!If not get him back in irish set up, class act

  • Mark Murray

    The implication that Monkstown have done anything wrong is unfair. They didn’t breach any rules and it’s up to Monkstown to decide who is/isn’t in their top 13. If you weren’t available to train you wouldn’t be in most senior clubs first 13.

    Having been at the game, the Monkstown defence were pretty good considering they were under tons of pressure for almost all of the 2nd half. Banbridge probably know they had enough chances to win the game both from corners and open play.

    I personally don’t agree that you should be able to play both ISC and IJC in one season but that is my opinion and not an IHA rule. My own club also use the fringe 1st XI players in the IJC squad because the 1st XI squad is larger than 13 so some are free to play. While the rule is top 13, it’s fair enough.

  • Taeke Taekema

    I am thirty three, that will make me older that Sharpie and the oldesht player in Monkshtown Sheconds next year. That is all.

  • secret admirer

    Can we get back to talking about the important matters such a danny p’s incredible hair performance

  • The Future

    the rule used to be 10 players registered for ISC when Monkstown won IJC 2 years ago clubs objected and the rule was changed to 13 now the same objections are being raised .Club players in first team squad no 14-16 normally play short time in games despite training as hard as other players.Hockey is meant to be enjoyable players train to play not to sit on bench,if the rukle is changed to 16 players it should apply to all competitions.How many clubs could afford to register 16 it would affect all teams and could result in some clubs pulling teams out of the lower leagues which is what we are trying to prevent.

  • Dazzler

    I don’t think anybody will complain about fringe players playing down in league games. I think Irish cups are slightly different though. Every team in the competition does however player fringe first players and it’s only because one team has one both competitions and one player happens to be the star drag flicker for both sides that it’s really getting any attention.

    In reality it only needs to be addressed in the junior and senior cups, as it’s the only two competitions where this conundrum applies on a national level. Any player playing ISC cannot play IJC or something along those lines. But, this will hurt both clubs first and second sides, so it’s not really a feasable option. Should a player playing 2’s all year long not be allowed to participate in the cup run due to being called up because of an injury to a firsts player? Should the team leave a squad spot empty to protect their IJC chances? Yes, it may look silly when one player decides both competition, but that just happens to be the way of it and pre nominating 13 players is probably the ideal measure. The rule can be abused, but most Irish clubs seem to play it in the right spirit.

    Fair play to Monkstown though. Well deserved and shows the work they’ve been putting in over the past few years. Unfortunate that the goalscorer has brought up this issue, but I don’t think anybody can really accuse them of not playing in the spirit of the rules. 3 first team players from the ISC, and it’s not like they were fielding 3 Irish stars. If they don’t see a swift exodus they could see much success for all their sides shortly down the line.

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