Annadale secure place in Irish Hockey League for next season

Cork Harlequins miss out on the elite competition for the first time

Scott Furlong (right) in action against UCD last month, was on fire for Pembroke Wanderers second team as they claimed their eighth Irish Junior Cup title. Photograph: Inpho

Scott Furlong (right) in action against UCD last month, was on fire for Pembroke Wanderers second team as they claimed their eighth Irish Junior Cup title. Photograph: Inpho

Mon, Apr 14, 2014, 01:00

Annadale scraped their way into next season’s Irish Hockey League with a narrow 2-1 win over Cork Harlequins who miss out on the elite competition for the first time since its inception.

John and William Edgar had the Ulster Premier side on course for a comfortable win at Milltown on Sunday but John Hobbs’ corner goal made for a nervous finish.

Andy Smyth’s side held on, however, to put a difficult season behind them having almost just about made it into the playoffs with a fifth place finish in their domestic competition ahead of Belfast Harlequins on the last day of the regular season.

For the Cork side, it means they will be outside the IHL as their rough year continues. Irish Senior Cup winners in 2012, the Farmer’s Cross side dropped out of the top two in Munster for the first in a number of decades while they had an abject IHL season, conceding 32 times in five losses.

With precious little youth coming through, it could be a while before they break back into the top two in Munster with UCC taking over as Cork C of I’s main challengers.

Elsewhere, Scott Furlong was on fire for Pembroke Wanderers second team as they claimed their eighth Irish Junior Cup title. The centre midfielder scored all four of his side’s goals in a 4-3 a success against reigning champions Monkstown in a set-piece shoot out with all seven goals coming via that route.

Town led 3-2 with ten minutes to go but Furlong netted from the penalty spot before shooting home a penalty corner three minutes later to confirm their first win in this competition since 2008.

Newry won the Irish Hockey Trophy on Saturday evening with a 4-2 win over Bandon, making it a treble for the Co Down side following their Senior One and Linden Cup wins.

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