Sykes Drags Town into Final

Monkstown 3 (Ewington, Watkins, Sykes)  Atasport 2 (satlikov, Ali)

**Report Gareth Evans

Monkstown earned a place in tomorrow’s final complements of a well earned victory over Azerbaijans Atasport side with 4 Pakistani internationals. Town went 1 down in the 8th minute from Atasports first corner when Ruslan Satlikov finished sharply on the rebound from a drag flick. Town equalised 4 minutes later from an Andy Ewington drag flick low to the keeper’s stick side. They  went 2-1 up in the 21st minute when Gareth Watkins blasted home on the reverse from a Stephen Cole pass. Town had a few more chances before half time but the Atasport keeper was equal to everything they threw at him. Leaving the Half-time score at 2-1 to Monkstown.

The second half remained tight with town dominating possession but Atasport were always a threat on the counter attack. Town had 2 spells when they were down to 10 men as Richard Sykes and Kyle Good got yellow cards in the 49th and 57th minutes respectively to spend time in the bin and Atasport applied a lot of pressure during these periods with David Fitzgerald pulling off a few good saves.

Atasport leveled the game  in the 62nd minute through a straight drag flick from Kashif Ali. Kyle Good atoned for his earlier yellow when he won a corner following a good run and Richard Sykes scored via a drag flick with 3 mins remaining. Town held out from there to earn a place in the final.

They will face the Ukrainian side HC OKS-SHVSM after they topped group A by beating the Italian hosts Amsicora 4-2. The game will tip off at 14:15 Irish time.

Monkstown: D.Fitzgerald, L.Cole, G.Groves, G.O’Halloran, G.Watkins, P.Caruth, S.Cole, G.Shaw, R.Sykes, A.Ewington, K.Good  Subs:J.Carr, I.Horsefield, N.Dee, D.Carson, D.Cole, D.Nolan, J.Henry.

Atasport: V.Avdonin, Khasif Ali, S.Khalid, V.Butt, S.Nasir, D.Yaichnikov. I.Zai, S.Ali, R.Kargin, M.Abubaker, R.Satlikov. Subs: V.Ahmadov, K.Gosalov, S.Mirzayev, Khalid Ali, A.Nadirov, K.Shirinov

Below is a video of Monkstown’s winning goal

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