Clontarf take first national title in controversial decider

Umpiring blunder plays massive part in denying victory to unlucky Bandon side

Clontarf player-coach Gareth Borland scored the penalty spot with the last act of silver goal extra time to secure the Irish Hockey Trophy. Photograph: Ryan Byrne /Inpho

Clontarf player-coach Gareth Borland scored the penalty spot with the last act of silver goal extra time to secure the Irish Hockey Trophy. Photograph: Ryan Byrne /Inpho

 

Clontarf claimed their first national title as they landed the Irish Hockey Trophy title in hugely contentious circumstances. They came back from 2-0 down against Bandon at Belfield to win 3-2, player- coach Gareth Borland scoring the penalty spot with the last act of silver goal extra time.

While the decision to award that stroke was hotly contested, it was not the decision that will rankle most for the west Cork side, as an umpiring blunder played a massive part in denying them the title.

They led 2-1 courtesy of Darren Beamish and Graham Kingston’s first half efforts – with 45 seconds remaining before goalkeeper Ian Hosford was sin-binned with a penalty corner awarded to boot.

At that set piece, there is a dispensation, under rule 2.3, for goalkeepers to be replaced in cases of either injury or suspension.

But the umpires and technical bench did not allow the waiting Conor Robinson to enter the fray, forcing Bandon to defend the corner without a padded keeper.

’Tarf duly scored from Luke Hayden from the corner rebound to send the game to extra time. And the Bulls duly prevailed when Kevin Mullins’s drag-flick was deemed to have a defensive body on the line illegally.

Bandon unsuccessfully argued the shot was dangerous and Borland took his moment to win the tie – a fitting person to land the club’s first national crown.

He has been intrinsic to the development of Clontarf in recent years.

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