Cork make all their experience count

 

MEN’S HOCKEY IRISH SENIOR CUP:HOW CORK Harlequins managed to annex their second Irish Senior Cup title will be cause for great wonder for many years.

Their only other win, back in 2006, was seen by many as a last hurrah for an ageing side. No fewer than 11 of that side, though – nine of whom are now well into their 30s – have a second medal as their experience and corner efficiency saw off a youthful Railway Union who included four schoolboys in their panel.

A Dan Hobbs double and a close-range volley from Colin Ross turned logic on its head as Railway – gunning for a first title since 1938 – bossed most of the play.

Their two early goals owed much to fortune as Mark English’s baseline pull-back found an inviting foot to deflect into Rob Abbott’s path for a simple finish.

David Egner equalised when Paul Lombard’s miscontrol fell his way but Railway had the lead when Daunt stood on a crash ball that Karl Chapple snapped up.

Railway looked likely to push on. But Quins’ ability to win corners, via former international David Eakins, allowed the Cork side to make their attacks count.

Dan Hobbs ripped home one low to level at 2-2 on 46 minutes and two minutes later he aimed one higher and further into the corner for the lead. Ross all but assured the result with 10 minutes left when Hobbs’ drag was rebounded by Egner onto the bar.

Peter English’s late goal couldn’t save Railway.

Cork Harlequins 4 (D Hobbs 2, D Egner, C Ross) Railway Union 3 (R Abbott, K Chapple, P English). Semi-finals: Railway Union 3 (K Chapple, P English, M English) Lisnagarvey 2 (A Forrest, T Cockram). Cork Harlequins 4 (J Hobbs 2, D Hobbs, D Egner) Instonians 3 (P Gleghorne 2, M Irwin).