Pembroke keep cool to make it three in a row

 

PLAYING a well measured brand of hockey, Pembroke Wanderers kept Railway Union sufficiently under control to win the Stephen Doyle (Leinster Top Four) Trophy for the third year in a row at Serpentine Avenue yesterday.

Earnestly though Railway attempted to upset Pembroke's rhythm, it was only in the closing stages, with the score at 2-0, that the visitors struck hack to capitalise briefly on the Wanderers defenders' over holding of the ball.

After a flurry of short corners failed to yield a dividend for Paul O'Brien, a chance eventually fell to Karl Swan, who hoisted a shot into the roof of the net to make it 2-1 with eight minutes left. Although Paudie Carley was in the wars in the final exchanges, Pembroke deservedly remained in front, for they had moved impressively in dominant phases before and after the interval.

Trevor Dunne delivered a centre for Simon Kershaw to notch a neatly composed goal in the 20th minute. The youthful Kershaw was subsequently foiled by the charging Barry Merriman from increasing the lead early in the second half, but Carley and Devin Donnelly kept up a full press. A Stephen Stewart flick shot forced Stuart O'Higgins into conceding a penalty stroke, which Carley converted. And there was then only Railway's rally to keep the rain spoiled game alive.

"Ta athas orm," said skipper Donnelly, chuffed to lift a prestigious trophy for the first time. But Pembroke face a tough assignment against Glenanne in the first round of the Irish Senior Cup at Tallaght on Saturday and will probably be without robust mid fielder. Turlough O Siochain, who aggravated a hamstring yesterday.

. Avoca II regained the Wright Carey Trophy when they beat Monkstown II 3-0 in the second Bank Holiday game at Pembroke. Irish Senior Cup medallist Ian Keogh converted two penalty strokes in the opening period and Enda Gallanagh added the third in the second half. Monkstown were denied a reply largely because of some class saves by Stephen Kinsella, the Avoca captain.

Today the Irish Schools' Championship begins in Cork where, notably, Ashton and Wesley meet in a key game in Pool D.