Men's 2nds semi final win completes quartet of Irish Cup Finals for Pembroke this season
IJC Semi Final – Cork Harlequins 0 Pembroke Wanderers 5
The Men’s 2nds went into their Irish Junior Cup semi final against Cork Harlequins on the back of their finest performance of the season so far in their Quarter Final Match away to Lisnagarvey, which they won 4-1 after a hard fought match. There was an air of quiet confidence amongst the squad betrayed only by Eric Foy’s stereotypically bullish barrage of snap chats and tweets prior to the game. A rousing Ken Treacy team talk in the changing room ensured that the mood amongst the team was as focussed as it needed to be.
Conditions in Cork were perfect for hockey and mood amongst the sizeable Pembroke contingent who had travelled down from Dublin was buoyant on the back of the team’s female counterparts reaching their own IJC Final in the day’s warm up match prior to the main event!
Pembroke started the game at a very high tempo with an aggressive full press paying dividends early on. Emphasis was placed on ball retention at the back and a quick passing game up front avoiding, whenever possible, dribbling at notoriously good flat stick tacklers. This strategy soon bore fruit as a short corner was awarded after a slick passing move down the left allowing Justin Sherriff to dispatch the resulting corner with a vicious drag flick. Another goal soon followed, again from a short corner, with Scott Furlong, taking a break from lifting weights on the sideline, fired in a drag flick with his first touch of the ball.
He got his second of the game a few minutes later with another drag flick, this one creeping in by the man on the post. Quins were struggling to match Pembroke’s intensity and just before half time Furlong had his hattrick. His initial effort from a short corner was stopped illegally on the line and, after fending off all other potential stroke takers Furlong, slotted home to make it 4-0 to Pembroke.
Just before the end of the half Harlequins had the ball in the Pembroke net after a speculative crash ball in appeared to go in off goalkeeper Hugh Lavery. After consultation the goal was controversially disallowed, Pembroke being afforded a slice of luck. Harlequin’s, perhaps still angered at the earlier decision, ended the half with a few strong challenges which sparked some excitement amongst the players but thankfully tempers remained under control.
Strong words were issued to the team by Coach Justin Sherriff at half time reminding the team that nothing had been won yet but despite this it was the Cork side that started the second half the stronger. Indeed they were awarded 4 short corners in quick succession at the beginning of the half, the final of these a straight shot defended on the line by Ben Grogan. Pembroke started to get to grips with the 2nd half from that point with large periods of possession following being matched by ever diligent defending by the hosts.
Pembroke got their fifth and final goal when a crash ball from the right hand side was raised up into the path of Simon McKeever around the penalty spot and he acrobatically crashed the ball into the goal on the volley. It was just-rewards for Pembroke who had created numerous chances in the second half on the back of some free flowing attacking hockey. Final score Pembroke 5 – 0 Harlequins.
The men now play Monkstown in the final on the 13th of April in UCD.
The team would also like to express their huge gratitude to the large number of supporters that travelled down to Cork to support – a truly fantastic effort and one we hope can be repeated and outdone for the final.
Irish Junior Cup Finals, April 13th 2014
12.00 Ladies – UCD v Pembroke Wanderers
14.00 Men – Pembroke Wanderers v Monkstown
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