Glenanne quick to find stride

 

MEN'S HOCKEY IRISH SENIOR CUP FINAL Glenanne 4 Monkstown 1:A PUNISHING first-half performance drove Glenanne to their third Irish Senior Cup triumph yesterday in Belfield. Three first-half goals to no reply left Monkstown playing a catch-up game that never really looked like materialising, the south Dublin side finally conceding the match 4-1.

Monkstown had little answer for Glenanne’s speed in attack and set-piece mastery with Stephen Butler doing what he has been doing now for a decade, with two goals, both of them drag flicks at short corners.

It was a match with plenty of circle penetrations and both goalkeepers were busy throughout. Gareth Watkins and Ian Allen tested Glenanne’s Stephen Doran and Davy Fitzgerald in the Monkstown goal was asked to intervene on numerous occasions.

Glenanne’s first score arrived after just 14 minutes. David Shaw slapped a ball in from the left and Monkstown could only watch as Shane O’Donoghue barely turned it in for 1-0. Graham Shaw followed up that score a minute later with a spectacular effort, meeting a high ball to the circle on the first bounce and forcing Fitzgerald to save high with his hands.

It was a good day for Shaw overall. He coached Loreto to their Irish Cup win over Railway Union prior to the men’s final and then won the man-of-the-match award with Glenanne.

Five minutes after O’Donoghue struck, Butler made it 2-0 for Glenanne. It was the midfielder who manufactured the corner when he rolled the ball onto a foot in the circle and he then delivered the mid-height drag flick on 19 minutes.

But perhaps the score that really undermined Monkstown’s inability to get any hold on the match was Glenanne’s third strike which arrived from one of the former’s attacking set-pieces.

Their normal corner striker Andy Ewington was off the pitch and the corner was fluffed after defender Joe Brennan was judged to have deliberately obstructed. But, as Monkstown regrouped, Glenanne swept upfield in a counterattacking move and within seconds O’Donoghue was playing provider with a slap in from the left and Gary Shaw fired under the covering Fitzgerald to make it 3-0.

Monkstown replied early in the second half on their second corner of the match when Allen pounced on a rebound after Doran had saved from Ewington’s flick. But they needed to quickly follow that with another goal.

Instead Glenanne earned a corner and Butler made it 4-1 to bury any chances of a recovery. The decade has been kind to the Tallaght team with three Irish Cup wins in 2001, 2007 and 2010.

GLENANNE: S Doran, G Shaw, D Shaw, E O’Malley, J Brennan capt, P Fitzpatrick, S Butler, R Shaw, S O’Donoghue, Gary Shaw, J Kane. Rolling. Subs: A Lewis, M McGuinness, B Parsons, C Murphy, D Keogh, G Carragher.

MONKSTOWN: D Fitzgerald, A Ewington, E O’Connor, N Dee, B Groves, A Ward, G Watkins capt, R O’Moore, F Ryan, S Cole, B McErnery. Rolling. Subs: G Groves, C Speers, I Allen, A Barrett, S Groves, R Sykes, R Mason.

Umpires: D Clarke, G Conn.