Leinster’s big three back in ISC semi-finals

Men’s Irish Senior Cup, quarter-finals
The Irish Senior Cup semi-finals weekend will have a familiar hue after Monkstown, Three Rock Rovers and Pembroke returned to the final four for a second successive year with Lisnagarvey taking the place of Banbridge from last year’s line-up.

Tie of the round proved as billed with Monkstown getting the better of Banbridge in a repeat of last year’s Irish Hockey League final, overcoming a sticky early half hour before gradually taking over the ascendancy as time wore on.

Monkstown's Lee Cole attempts an audacious shot Pic: Adrian Boehm

Monkstown’s Lee Cole attempts an audacious shot Pic: Adrian Boehm

Stephen Cole was forced to take one off the line from Stephen Dowds while the striker was also denied by David Fitzgerald before giving the Co Down side the lead on 25 minutes from their third corner.

But Monkstown were ahead by half-time with two goals in four minutes, both coming while Bann were short-handed – something coach Mark Tumilty lamented in his post-match interview with Dublin City FM.

While Eugene Magee was in the bin, following Nick Dee and Ross Beattie, Gareth Watkins did some superb build-up work and found a line to Davy Carson to deflect past Gareth Lennox.

Graham Shaw then picked out Kyle Good with a smash from halfway – this time while Owen Magee was off – and his touch was enough to make it 2-1.

From there, Monkstown kept growing into the game and they were home and hosed when Lee Cole burst into the circle and shot home powerfully with the aid of a deflection to land the 3-1 win.

Lisnagarvey are holding the Ulster end up in the competition after they raced clear of Glenanne in the second half of their date at Comber Road, running out 7-2 victors.

That scoreline looked a long way off after a tight enough first half had ended level at one each. Timmy Cockram’s early drag-flick was annulled by Eddie O’Malley as the Glens turned over high up the pitch and finished off a two on one.

Cockram, though, reasserted the lead with a second corner and Andy Williamson quickly made it 3-1. While Glenanne scuppered a corner to get back into the game, Jonny Quigley’s speed helped create Garvey’s fourth goal for Mark Raphael.

Cockram set up Daniel Nelson for a sweet reverse-stick shot at the top for 5-1 with less than minutes to go before Gary Shaw, Jason Lynch and Cockram’s third closed out the scoring.

At Whitechurch Park, Pembroke did most of the hard work in the first half of their game against Corinthian to make it through. Simon McKeever got them up and running before Ronan Flannery and Tim Hill extended the lead out to 3-0 at half-time. Alan Sothern completed a 4-0 win to earn their final four place.

Three Rock, meanwhile, were 7-2 winners at ALSAA with Jonny Bruton’s pair augmented by goals from Jody Hosking, Peter McConnnell, Peter Blakeney, Paul Fitzpatrick and Ali Haughton. Chris Neville nabbed two in quick succession for Fingal.

Men’s Irish Senior Cup, quarter-final: Fingal 2 (C Neville 2) Three Rock Rovers 7 (J Bruton 2, J Hosking, P McConnell, P Blakeney, P Fitzpatrick, A Haughton) Corinthian 0 Pembroke 4 (S McKeever, R Flannery, T Hill, A Sothern); Lisnagarvey 7 (T Cockram 3, J Lynch, D Nelson, M Raphael, A Williamson) Glenanne 2 (E O’Malley, G Shaw); Monkstown 3 (L Cole, K Good, D Carson) Banbridge 1 (S Dowds)

** The draw for the semi-finals will be made on Monday in the IHA offices.

** Declan Hughes spoke to both Monkstown player-coach Graham Shaw and Banbridge’s Mark Tumilty after their Irish Senior Cup quarter-final

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