Kehoe's goal snatches honours
Glenanne were one minute away from losing the title they had sought grittily all season when, from the last of a succession of short corners, Devon Kehoe touched home an equaliser to snatch the Leinster Senior League laurels from Pembroke Wanderers at Serpentine Avenue yesterday. So, in capturing this priceless point in their final match, the Tallaght-based community club became champions for the first time in their 57-year history.
Twice, Pembroke (at full strength) had taken the lead with classy goals, scored by Gordon Elliott, with a brilliant reverse-stick shot from an acute angle in the 20th minute, and by Trevor Dunne, who finished off a high-quality movement early in the second half.
Glenanne, however, refused to give up the struggle. Alan Browne, Graham Shaw, Mark Lambe and John Goulding epitomised the side's character and workrate as Goulding quickly made it 1-1 in surprising the Pembroke cover to tuck away a craftily executed corner.
It seemed, though, that a barrage of set pieces were going to yield nothing in the second period as Nigel Henderson made a particularly fine save from Stephen Butler and also touched over a drive from Paul Fitzpatrick. Colin Kelly, too, was being especially defiant as the home side looked like absorbing the pressure but then came the last chance as Butler held his nerve to slip the ball goalwards for Kehoe to nip in and get the touch which for long will be a cause for Glenanne to celebrate. "It's even better than on similar occasions with Faughs," said physio Jim Daly.
Now, it's on to the all-Ireland quarter-final play-offs in which Glenanne will be meeting Annadale, with Pembroke tackling Lisnagarvey or Banbridge. Leinster's surprise third-placed team Monkstown are set to face Cork C of I, who emphasised their superiority in Munster with a 5-0 defeat of Harlequins.
Glenanne (Leinster champions, 19992000) - I Clarke; D Shaw, C Bolger, Rory O'Donoghue, P Fitzpatrick; D Kehoe, S Butler, A Browne (capt); M Lambe, G Shaw, J Goulding; K Fishbourne, A O'Donoghue, Roly O'Donoghue; C Murphy, J Brennan, I Bolger, A O'Neill. Coach: N Keogh; manager: T Cooney; physio: J Daly.
It was also a weekend to relish for Annadale (founded in 1968) as their second XI, in beating Three Rock Rovers II, 3-0, at Serpentine Avenue on Saturday, won the club's first all-Ireland trophy. A two-goal contribution from former international Kenny Morris, a short-corner strike from Peter Pollock and the midfield drive of the captain, James Coulsey, were key elements in the victory.
An impregnable back four, too, foiled any breakthrough by Rovers, for whom Roger West, Stephen Walker and Robert Haughton competed with greatest heart.
Annadale II: J Moore; P Pollock, G McBriar, S Wilson, K Patterson; J Stephenson, J Coulsey (capt), S Galway; M Kendall, J McDermot, S Dickson; Subs: K Morris, S Duncan, N Mills. Coach: L Milne.
Three Rock Rovers II: W Armstrong; N Denham, R West, S Walker, Rob Johnson; A Walker, D Sterritt (capt), R Haughton; M Brooks, R Madeley, P Maguire: Subs: D Roche, C Huet, R Budd, K Empey. Coach: F Morris.