Sublime second half sees Monkstown claim men’s IHL/ISC double


Men’s Irish Hockey League final
Monkstown 4 (A Ward 2, G Watkins, D Carson) Banbridge 3 (B McCandless, S Magowan, S Dowds)

Monkstown claimed their third and biggest title of the season, landing the Irish Hockey League and Irish Senior Cup.

It added to a Leinster Senior Cup title as their smart second half performance at Grange Road tamed a fiery Banbridge that had laid waste to all-comers in the build-up to the final.

But their firebrands up front – Stephen Dowds, Owen Magee and Dane Ward – found little time of the room that saw them obliterate Cookstown in Saturday’s semi-final 6-1.

They threatened to do something similar in the early phases of the final, bursting out of the blocks. They scored inside the first ten seconds as Simon Magowan tore down the right wing.

His cross was clipped in at the near post by Bruce McCandless for a wonder start and further chances from Dowds stung the pads of Dave Fitzgerald. Monkstown had not settled but they got on terms in bizarre fashion as Stephen Forbes dithered before playing a rash pass across the face of goal.

Gareth Watkins gambled and his diving touch was perfectly timed, getting enough on the ball to leave Gareth Lennox no chance.

It gave them the jolt they needed and they went in front on 25 minutes when Davy Carson produced some moments of individual brilliance, drawing two men before unleashing a reverse-stick shot. It was probably goal-bound but Andrew Ward made sure of it.

The lead lasted scarcely three minutes as Phil Brown tore down the right wing and Magowan turned home at close quarters. Andrew Ward, however, ensured Town went in ahead at the break 3-2. His immaculate first touch created the space before rocketing through Lennox.

It was another in a collection of true beauties scored this weekend and was the defining factor in a thrilling, wide open affair prior to the break. But Monkstown player coach Graham Shaw knew that pace could not be sustained and tweaked his team’s set-up accordingly.

He had already had an emotional day, coaching Loreto to runners-up in the women’s competition, a drawn out affair decided on penalties. The Town were not to be denied, limiting Bann to just a handful of second half openings while turning the screw at the far end.


Carson’s calmly taken corner rebound left Bann needing snookers down the final stretch. Dowds did recover one of the deficit with 45 seconds to go but they scarcely had a chance to tip off before the final hooter.

It puts Monkstown into the 2013/14 EuroHockey League while Banbridge will be Ireland’s second European representatives.

Monkstown: D Fitzgerald, L Cole, N Dee, D Carson, G Watkins, D Cole, S Cole, G Shaw, R Sykes, A Ewington, K Good
Subs: C Ellis, J Beirne, G Groves, G O’Halloran, A Ward, R O’Moore, S Nolan

Banbridge: G Lennox, Stephen Forbes, Scott Forbes, Peter Brown, Philip Brown, B McCandless, S Magowan, O Magee, D Ward, D Carlisle, S Dowds
Subs: J Moffett, J McKee, M Bell, H McShane, S Caruth, P Bingham, C Dowds

Men’s Irish Hockey League
Monkstown 4 (A Ward 2, G Watkins, D Carson) Banbridge 3 (B McCandless, S Magowan, S Dowds)
Semi-finals: Monkstown 2 (K Good, D Carson) Lisnagarvey 1 (T Cockram); Banbridge 6 (S Caruth 2, B McCandless, S Dowds, C Dowds, H McShane) Cookstown 1 (G Allen)

Player of the tournament: Peter Brown (Banbridge)
Goalkeeper of the tournament: Dave Fitzgerald (Monkstown)
Top scorer: awarded to Stephen Dowds (Banbridge) with nine; The Hook, though, has Alan Sothern on 11!

Jimmy O’Connor Player of the Year: Emma Smyth (Railway Union)

  • bluewall

    Brilliant work guys
    it’s a pleasure to see the work of many years by a few unsung heroes in the Monkstown colts section reap such fantastic rewards. Hats off to the players, to Sharpie who brought that little extra oomph and the knack to convert ability into success and of course the blues colts system.

  • Monkstown HC

    Looking forward to doing Irish hockey proud in Europe next season. Rumours it could be Barcelona or East Grinsted. No guesses which we’d prefer!!

  • The Future

    Well done to all the administrators,coaches and players over the last 20 years together with those who contributed directly this season to Monkstowns success everyone has played their part in putting the bricks in the Blue Wall.The time and effort has been worthwhile.Here is to the great challenge of playing in Europe in the EHL.

  • Yes but…

    As a neutral hockey fan I have enjoyed watching Monkstown over the past few years as the team developed towards its full potential (which it has not reached yet, these young players will only improve with the experience of playing at the business end of big tournaments, Europe etc). I have always enjoyed the style of hockey and the freedom with which the team played.
    This season has been different though. The players are more experienced, more mature but what has caught my eye is the way in which almost every umpiring decision is questioned, with short corner concessions in particular resulting in a 5-6 man scrum around the umpires. It is a shame because, for me, this side are good enough to dominate without resorting to this style. Would be interesting to hear other opinions.

  • Andy Lover

    All these Monkstown players played for St.Andrews College: D Fitzgerald, L Cole, N Dee, D Carson, G Watkins, D Cole, S Cole, R Sykes,J Beirne, G O’Halloran, A Ward, S Nolan

    12 out of the 16…… unbelievable stuff


    @ Yes but…
    Unfair to finger Town in questioning decisions
    is a blight on game throughout now
    suggest only Captain allowed to engage with umpires
    at all levels of game
    agree needs sorting
    remember lip factor not tolerated last Olympic qualifier
    by umpires at a big cost eventually
    after all the years of nearly there richly deserved
    success no one could begrudge them that
    put it in bigtime in training and a close knit bunch with great esprit de corps

  • bluewall

    St Andrews is an amazing feeder school to Monkstown but it works both ways, all of those players were also Monkstown colts. Also – and this you may not know, hockey was started in St Adnrews (boys that is) by Jill Nichols ( a Monkstown Ladies member at that time) and the first two players were Peter Nichols and Micky Nichols (both Monkstown Colts and future 1st team players) – in fact the first boys team that started around 1980 at U13 had almost only Monstown colt members – family names linked with Town like – Tipping, Murdoch, Nichols, Varian.

  • @bluewall……..

    Or put another way…….Monkstown is an amazing feeder club to St Andrews College!!!!!!

  • confused

    Well done to the town. They put in the hard work backstage and brought through a promising set of young players and got the very best out of them. They learned their hard hard lessons over the last few years and bounced back stronger and better. Well done again.

  • Yes but…

    @avid spectator

    I didn’t mean to point the finger at Town in that way, they are certainly not the only club who engage with umpires in this way. I was attempting to point out my observation that this is a new thing for Town this year – it was one of the things that I really admired about them in previous years. I do find it strange though that the attitude of respect for officials which, I imagine, is taught throughout the youth structure of the club has diminished so drastically and so quickly. As I said, it’s a shame because it takes a little of the gloss off their achievements for me.

  • RED

    When cookstown won the senior cup in 2011 all 18 players had gone to cookstown high school, along with the three management. Makes winning that bit more special. Well done monkstown

  • herewegoagain

    In reply to avid spectator ,all the players in the youth structure in Monkstown are taught to respect the officials and where it does occur the player is disciplined by being taken off and in certain circumstances does not play again in the game .In the past 2 years in the International u14 and U16 tournaments in Holland the unpires have commented on the players behaviour in a positive way.As you are aware captains are allowed to approach the umpire and if you had watched Monkstown over the past 2 years you would have noticed that in the vast majority of instances where this occured only Nick Dee the capt ,spoke to the umpire and you would have seen Nick dismissing other players in such situations.
    As you are aware in the EHL players can challenge umpires,thru video replays, decisions and the stats show that in 80% of the occurences the players were right to challenge.
    I agree that 4/5 players surrounding the umpire is not good but it only occurs at PCs when a wrong decision by the umpire can be game changing.The pressures of getting results in big games will not change this regardless of the sport.

  • @yes but….@avid spectator

    of late I have seen more and more mens matches and have to say I agree with you, there is a total lack of respect to officials from SOME clubs, it is creeping in more and more, but as a past member of the LHUA – the umpires have tools at there disposal, green, yellow cards, but in talking to umpires, they want to keep the players on the pitch, so maybe clubs should take the above comments in the spirit they were meant and stop the moaning, get on with it and play hockey.

  • Throwing the stick in

    If a player is abusive, surrounding the umpire,constantly questioning decisions they should be carded immediately. Green first offence and every other one yellow. That is the only way to stamp it out. Umpires should make this clear from the beginning and there should be synergy between all umpires in the top leagues of how they approach this.

    The clubs also need to take responsibility for how their players behave. If this has become an element of anyone clubs game then the coaches/management/captains should lead by example and discourage it which I am sure they do

    How some coaches behave is also pretty disgusting, constantly shouting abuse etc.

  • concerned.

    @ throwing the stick in

    Here here

    LHA/LHUA should have fair play awards, we only ever hear about clubs/teams that are abusive & lack respect, we never hear about the good guys

    Have the coaches that are abusive not learnt yet, that the worse they act, this transfers to the players on the pitch

    How many cards were given to a captain for the coach???

  • Andy Lover

    I agree Monkstown are seen as a feeder school to andrewes but the work put in in Andrews is awesome it just goes to show how hard ur man Ovo and his team have worked over the last 10 years!

    Congrats Monks(Andrews) town

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