UCD II win maiden IJC title; Furlong inspires Pembroke II while IHC crown stays in Limerick

Women’s Irish Junior Cup final
UCD II 3 (Ciara Noble, Holly Rankin, Maedhbh Delahunt) Pembroke II 1 (Anna O’Neill)

Second half goals from Holly Rankin and Maedhbh Delahunt saw UCD II claim their first ever Irish Junior Cup title, succeeding in their first appearance in the decider at Belfield.

They profited from a couple of Pembroke defensive errors to deny the Dublin 4 side the double following their pair of wins over the students in Leinster women’s division two. Key striker Shona Doyle was ruled out in the week leading up to the game with a broken arm while UCD were on a high with a smattering of players in their ranks who lined out in both the Irish Senior Cup and Irish Hockey League finals.

To that end, Elaine Carey was a dynamo throughout and her side hit the front midway through the first half when Ciara Noble finished off her side’s second corner. Anna O’Neill levelled before the break as Pembroke grew into the tie, finishing off a good team move.

But the students were back in front four minutes into the second half and Delahunt finished off a Carey cross to make it 3-1. Despite some late Pembroke pressure, that was how it remained as Tiffaney Ellis stood tall to keep out a couple of chances while O’Neill’s snap-shot hit the post.

UCD II: T Ellis, J Anderson, L Haughton, C Noble, H Rankin, C Hill, R Evans, L McGrane, L Brennan, M Delahunt, A O’Keeffe, S Willis, O Macken, K Collins-Smyth, E Buckley, E Carey
Pembroke II: J Elliott, A O’Neill, C Heskin, E Keilthy, L de Araugo, E McCarthy, S Craig, F O’Donovan, J McDonnell, C Howard, T Junghenn, A O’Grady, M Faherty, N Douglas, J Brownlee, E Thompson

Umpires: G Hohn, A Robinson

Men’s Irish Junior Cup final
Pembroke II 4 (S Furlong 4) Monkstown II 3 (Z Dutton 2, K Kenning)

Scott Furlong’s stunning salvo saw Pembroke win their eighth Irish Junior Cup crown, winning a set piece shoot-out against reigning champions Monkstown with two goals in the last ten minutes turning the tide in an often fractious Leinster derby.

Furlong started off proceedings with his first corner after seven minutes only for Keith Kenning to equalise in the 24th minute. Zack Dutton’s flick was blocked down but Kenning reacted smartly to flip the ball into the top of the goal.

Jamie Carr saved the next Furlong effort with a great low stick save while Dutton’s high drag made it 2-1 soon after. Furlong’s second tied things up with six minutes to go until half-time. By this stage, the tackles were flying in while Ben Grogan and Richard Mason were enjoying tidy games at the back for their respective teams.

Monkstown went ahead once more with a quarter of the game remaining in contentious fashion. Duncan McKeen appeared to get most of the ball with a sliding tackle to deny Dutton’s reverse but a corner was given nonetheless which the striker emphatically roofed after a lengthy umpires consultation.

Pembroke, though, bounced back in the closing phases as Furlong struck twice more. On the hour, he flicked in his third before playing a key role in the winner. His first up drag variation was deflected into Mason’s chest by Craig Wilson. It offered the former a shot from the penalty spot and he potted despite the pressure jibes from the crowd with seven minutes to go.

It ended Pembroke’s season on a high after tough final defeats in both the Irish Senior Cup finals and the women’s Junior Cup final this term.

Pembroke II: H Lavery, G Dagg, P Priestly, S McKeever, C Wilson, S Furlong, D McKeen, B Grogan, A Shekleton, P Good, G Shekleton, J Sherriff, E Foy, S Sullivan, D Quinn, J Brennan
Monkstown II: J Carr, J Beirne, R Mason, G Groves, D Pott, W King, R Watkins, G Cole, D Nolan, Z Dutton, S Nolan, G Browne, K Kenning, J Henry, G O’Halloran, R Browne, A Barrett, R Hohn
Umpires: R Cowan, B Madden

Men’s Irish Hockey Challenge final
Limerick 3 (Andrew Tutty 2, Cathal Duggan) Portrush 2 (Callum McKeeman, Brent Smith)

Andrew Tutty’s second half double saw Limerick land their first national title in this guise since forming in 2000 as they came back from a goal down at half-time to defeat Portrush at Belfield. Indeed, it means the title stays in the Treaty City for another year as they won the trophy won by Catholic Institute a year ago.

Callum McKeeman’s dinky reverse stick finish got the Ports off to a flyer but poacher supreme Cathal Duggan – working in tandem with Roger Clarke up top – was on hand to flick home an equaliser in the sixth minute. Brent Smith restored Portrush’s lead at the break when a corner rebounded out to him on the left of the circle and he slid his shot underneath Justin Scheffel.

Tutty’s corner flick got Limerick back on terms for the second time early in the second half and he won it for his side with three minutes to go to send the trophy back to Shannonside.

Limerick: J Scheffel, G Blackwell, R Doherty, T Gray, N Eacrett, A Smith, T Clarke, J Smith, J Powell, G Morrow, R Clarke, K Benson, C Morrow, A Tutty, D Cardy, C Duggan, S Cheatley, L Cardy
Portrush: G McAllister, L Greene, P Linton, R Smith, A McConaghy, D Price, A Kerr, C McKeeman, B McMullan, G Christie, J McCook, P Kerr, C Henry, B Smith, J Dillon, R McNabb, L Smith, N McMaster, G Kerr, T Kilpatrick
Umpires: A Pinder, M Logan

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