Mills Cup final
Pembroke 4 (D Quinn, N Burns, H Spain, A Shekleton) Corinthian 1 (G Holmes)
The difference in level between the EY Hockey League and the top of Leinster Division One was ruthlessly exposed as Pembroke eased to the Mills Cup title with a comfortable 4-1 win over Corinthian at Grange Road.
A rare David Quinn goal along with efforts from Nick Burns and Harry Spain had the Ballsbridge side flying high with a 3-0 lead at the break. Corinthian rallied late on with Glenn Holmes pulling one back in the last ten minutes but Andrew Shekleton’s clever finish completed the win.
The reds did start well with Mark Ingram forced into a good stop from Stephen Reid while Pembroke’s early troubles were compounded when key striker Alan Sothern went off in the 14th minute with an ankle injury – he was able to limp off but did not return to action.
But they soon found their fluidity with Ronan Flannery pushing forward down the right. It was a slightly innocuous build-up but when the ball was delivered into the middile, Quinn stole a march on his marker, getting in front and shooting early with a first time sweep that gave Ross Murray no time to settle.
In a game of middling quality at times, it was a very smart piece of work from one of the afternoon’s strongest performers.
Two minutes later, Burns drag banged the base of the backboard for 2-0 as Pembroke, despite some scrappy touches, asserted their dominance. Corinthian were living on the break and almost had their opening when David Howard cut loose but Ingram raced off his line to clean up the danger.
But another corner in the minutes leading up to half-time all but killed off the game, Spain’s low push an identikit to Burns’ earlier effort. It could have been worse in the second half but for Murray who saved several good chances with Kirk Shimmins twice blocked at close quarters while Eric Foy had a reverse repelled.
Holmes gave his side a lifeline when he picked up the pieces after Ingram had stopped Howard’s initial corner shot.
But any thoughts of a comeback were dashed in the closing minutes when Flannery again raced down the right and while his offload was not the cleanest, Shekleton spun well and potted on the reverse as Pembroke ran up their 21st Mills Cup victory.
Pembroke: M Ingram, H Spain, A Pritchard, K O’Hare, J Lynch, K Shimmins, R Flannery, D Quinn, A Sothern, N Burns, I Cooke, J Ryan, A Shekleton, S Sullivan, S Furlong, E Foy
Corinthian: R Murray, N Pelow, C Motyer, G Elliott, A Blennerhassett, D Treacy, G Dagg, A Sutton, R McKenna, H Micks, J Roberts, D Howard, B Murphy, G Holmes, D Winn, S Reid
Umpires: G Conn, R Abbott