IHL: Pembroke Wanderers 3 Cork Harlqns 0
Pembroke Wanderers 3 Cork Harlequins 0
Alan Sothern s/c.
Justin Sheriff, 61, 63.
On a cool, dry but gloomy afternoon in Dublin 4 ‘Quins won the toss and elected to take the ball. Pembroke, playing towards the Railway End, immediately took the game to ‘Quins with constant attacking play and [singlepic id=707 float=left]sweeping movement across the pitch but were met by a tight defence with Reinout Mensink (GK) and John Hobbs to the fore. In the 10thminute a swift interchange of passes between Alan Sothern and Michael O’Connor saw the latter shoot wide. Pembroke were awarded their first Penalty Corner in the 12th minute and Alan Sothern’s effort was on target but well saved by Mensink. This was the first of many fine saves by the Dutch ‘keeper. In the 16th minute Craig Fulton as a good effort hit the post but finish over the endline. In the final seconds of the Quarter Brian Hayes Curtin received a green card and the Quarter ended 0-0.
The 2nd Quarter continued in a similar vein with Pembroke taking the game to ‘Quins. They were awarded their second PC in the 32nd minute and this attempt was again well saved by Mensink. Pembroke continued to probe for a way into the circle but a combination of strong discipline and poorly delivered final passes saw the half time whistle and a score remaining at 0-0.
The 3rd Quarter saw more of the same, Pembroke attacking and ‘Quins absorbing the pressure from all sides of the 22. A second Green Card in the 43rd minute to Rob Hobbs was followed almost immediately by the 3rd PC to Pembroke and once again a fine save by Mensink. A further save from play from Alan Sothern following a fine ball into the circle by Conor Harte was well saved. In the 52nd minute, also from a PC, saw Pembroke take a well earned lead with a strong drag flick by Alan Sothern. The score at the end of the Quarter was 1-0.
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The 4th Quarter opened with a further Pembroke attack but ‘Quins themselves had to attack to try to get something from the game. However from one of their infrequent forays into the Pembroke 25 Mark Black, the former Irish International and still a strong midfield presence for ‘Quins, was yellow carded for not retreating following a free. The officials of Dan Clarke and Davy Stewart had kept firm control over the game awarding only two green and one yellow card. It was during his period of suspension Pembroke earned a 5th PC and although this was again well saved by Mensink Pembroke play was irrepressible at this stage and had the previously solid ‘Quins defence at sixes and sevens. In the 61st minute, from a long ball from Ken Tracy and helped into the circle, Justin Sheriff smashed an unstoppable shot past the ‘keeper for the second Pembroke goal. In the 63rd minute, from a narrow angle to the ‘keepers right, he took his second and Pembroke’s third to clinch a bonus point for Pembroke. In the 64th minute from more pressure ‘Quins conceded a final PC for “feet” and Sheriff saw his attempt for his “hat trick” hit the post with the ‘keeper beaten. However the ball was cleared and a fast and furious final Quarter saw Pembroke the deserved winners 3-0.
The Quins ‘keeper, Reinout Mensink had an outstanding game and his saves kept ‘Quins in a game in which they lacked possession, had no Penalty Corners and no goal scoring opportunities. However they cut down “free scoring” Pembroke’s clear cut chances, other than five penalty corners, until the final few minutes of this second game of a five game Pool.
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