Pembroke take another giant step towards title


HOCKEY:Despite the absence of star striker Alan Sothern, Pembroke’s march to the Leinster division one title took another big leap forward on Saturday.

YMCA have provided a sturdy test in the past few seasons, notably in a 4-0 Irish Hockey League hammering last year, but their threadbare panel ran out of steam, losing 3-1.

The result puts Pembroke 11 points clear of the chasing pack with only Monkstown now able to catch them. Even that is highly unlikely as it would require the Dublin 4 side losing both against Three Rock Rovers and basement side Avoca while the Town would need four wins from four.

YM came into the Pembroke game shy the services of David Robinson, Dash Hewett and Polish international Krystian Makowski through injury while Jonny Bruton – along with Sothern – were both at an Irish senior training camp in Ulster.

And their woes were compounded when Andy Walker made his exit to a hamstring strain after 10 minutes. Nonetheless, they took a half-time lead as Ian McHugh finished off a penalty corner move.

With few options on the bench, though, YM were run ragged in the second half by Pembroke as David Kane levelled in immaculate fashion from a corner rebound, a delicious half-volley.

Karl Lynch converted a penalty stroke and Mossie Elliott completed the turnaround in the closing minutes with a slightly miscued shot that deceived Iain Walker.

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