Another six point haul for Paddy's men
The men’s 1sts enjoyed a BIG six point haul at the weekend, beating both of their most obvious title rivals in the space of 48 hours.
On Saturday, Pembroke welcomed Monkstown’s “Blue Wall” to Serpentine Avenue and promptly tore it down. Dave Molloy opened the scoring, getting on the end of Al Sothern’s cross to make it 1-0. Al was also involved in the second goal, when his drag flick appeared to be touched by Mossie Elliot on its way in. Who exactly got the last touch was hotly debated after the match, but it appears to have been credited to Mossie. Not content with taking the lead once, the lads decided to make it a fair fight and let Monkstown back in, courtesy of one from open play and one from a short corner. At 2-2, the match could have gone either way and last season, this sort of match might have slipped away from us, but not this year.
In the dying seconds, Al threw an overhead for Kirk Shimmins to control at the second attempt and smash home. An impressive three assists for Al Sothern and a lot of head scratching as to how Kirk wasn’t on the shortlist for the u18 player of the year at the Irish Hockey Awards that night. Ultimately, three points were all that mattered.
Sadly, Saturday’s other results were a bit of a mixed bag. The 2s completed a weekend to forget for the “Blue Wall” by beating their Monkstown counterparts 3-1. The 3rds lost 1-0 away to Weston. Keith Hamilton’s 4ths continued their fine start with a scrambled 1-0 win against Corinthians, before the 6ths drew with YM 3-3 in the biggest shock of the decade considering they beat the same team 13-0 last year. The 7s stumbled again with a 6-0 defeat away to Wicklow. The 5s enjoyed a weekend off.
On Sunday, the 1sts went in search of a second three points that would re-establish them at the top of Division 1; when they faced Three Rock Rovers at UCD. Having made a complete mess of their pitch availability, Rovers were forced to switch this match from Grange Road to the National Hockey Stadium, but the switch appeared to have little impact on them as they immediately went on the attack. However, when their first real chance was swatted away with disdain by Mark Ingram, you got the feeling that Pembroke would be equal to anything Rovers offered. The first half ebbed and flowed, with both sides spurning chances, including a couple of short corners which we couldn’t convert. On the half hour mark, though, Rovers found themselves down to ten men after a meaty challenge in their defence earned the perpetrator a yellow card and Pembroke another short.
This time, Alan Sothern slammed it home to put Pembroke in front and Rovers on the back foot. The second half saw Rovers dominate for long periods, but Harry Spain seemed to pop up everywhere to break down their attacks and on the rare occasions that Rovers did get in the D, Mark Ingram was equal to anything that was thrown at him. The highlight of his saves coming at the very end, when he raced off his line to deny the oncoming attacker.
The lads had chances to double the lead with Al having one taken off the line and Mark Loughrey somehow denied from a short corner rebound, but a final score of 1-0 brought another three points and a six point lead over Rovers at the top of the league table. Sadly, the 2nds couldn’t match the 1sts heroics, their depleted squad losing 4-1 in a match played in St. Andrew’s due to the Interpros in Grange Road.
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