Men’s hockey: Cookstown overcome rivals Pembroke in senior cup

Max Anderson clinches shoot-out in sudden death after clash finishes 2-2 in normal time

Cookstown celebrate their shoot-out win over a disconsolate Pembroke. Photograph: Adrian Boehm

Cookstown celebrate their shoot-out win over a disconsolate Pembroke. Photograph: Adrian Boehm

 

Cookstown continued their hex over Pembroke as they knocked out the Dubliners in the Irish Senior Cup for the second successive campaign, emulating their success in the 2019-20 campaign.

Seventeen-year-old Max Anderson was the hero for the Ulster Premier side, scoring the clinching shoot-out in sudden death after a roller coaster normal time ended 2-2.

The Co Tyrone side got off to a dream start with two goals in the first seven minutes with captain Paul Thompson driving down the right, finding Ryan Millar on the 90-angle and he calmly found the back of the net.

An electric run from Stuart Smyth set up the second, the midfielder getting into the circle before firing a shot at goal to which Scott McCabe got the final touch.

EYHL side Pembroke bounced back from the rough start and started to find some rhythm with key man Julian Dale causing all manner of problems, winning several penalty corners.

Cookstown’s Max Anderson hero of the game for the victorious side. Photograph: Adrian Boehm
Cookstown’s Max Anderson hero of the game for the victorious side. Photograph: Adrian Boehm

Millar’s running lines, however, kept the two-goal lead in place until half-time before Pembroke’s comeback started in earnest in the second half. Harry Spain eventually got on the board from a corner drag-flick and it was 2-2 when Greg Chambers cleaned up a fourth quarter rebound from another set piece.

That set up a shoot-out where Pembroke scored their first three efforts to lead 3-1 but Cookstown held their nerve to level at 3-3 at the end of the regulation series of five. In the first round of sudden death, Anderson slotted home before Dale could not make it by Josh McCabe and sent Cookstown through to the final four.

Reds captain Thompson said of the win: “The result keeps up our unbeaten record this season and naturally we are delighted to have got through, especially against an EYHL side.

“We got off to a flying start and then defended well before they got back into it with those two goals in the second half

“The quality of goals in the shootout was high although our keeper Josh McCabe pulled off a couple of good saves.

“Max then kept a cool head to score the winner and that was remarkable as he’s just 17 but he’s just one of several promising youngsters in the squad.

“Our biggest goal this season is to get promoted back into the EYHL but to have a good cup run is great as well.”

Munster Division One side Cork CofI pushed EYHL high flyers Glenanne all the way but ultimately fell 1-0 in the Irish Senior Cup quarter-finals at St Andrew’s.

In the end, just Shane O’Donoghue’s first-half penalty corner stood between the sides as the Garryduff side pushed hard in the second half but could not nab the equaliser.

Monkstown eased into the final four as four first-half goals put them on their way to a 4-1 win over YMCA at Rathdown. David Nolan broke the deadlock in the first quarter before a couple of Rory Nichols strikes – and one from Guy Sarratt – put them well clear.

Grant Glutz got the consolation goal for YM.

The much-anticipated clash between Three Rock Rovers and Lisnagarvey fell foul of a frozen pitch at Grange Road.

Men’s Irish Senior Cup, quarter-finals: Glenanne 1 (S O’Donoghue) Cork C of I 0; Monkstown 4 (R Nichols 2, D Nolan, G Sarratt) YMCA 1 (G Glutz); Pembroke 2 (H Spain, G Chambers) Cookstown 2 (R Millar, S McCabe), Cookstown win shoot-out 4-3

Postponed: Three Rock Rovers v Lisnagarvey

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