Lads finish up league in 3rd spot
Pembroke finished in 3rd place behind Glennane and Monkstown in the league following the concluding games last weekend. The lads still have the Mills Cup Final and IHL to look forward to as they approach the business end of the season. Ben Grogan is this week’s guest reporter from the Men’s 1sts:
YMCA 3 – 2 Pembroke Wanderers 1st XI
On a sunny day in Alexandra College the 1st XI were left to rue a glut of second half penalty corner misses in a game that is aptly described by that often used cliche – a game of two halves.
Given the gulf in significance, at least in terms of final league position, this fixture had to the two teams with YM needing to win to secure IHL qualification while Pembroke’s league position was already cemented, the visitors could perhaps be forgiven for what was an under par first half performance. A good opening 10-15 mins of possession based hockey by the visitors was swiftly cast asunder as the hosts hunger and intensity saw them accrue a 3 nil lead with Pembroke twice paying the price for hesitance in the circle. Truth be told it was a lackluster first half performance by Pembroke who’s minds were perhaps elsewhere with the final of the Leinster Senior Cup looming large the following day.
Stern words were needed at half time and stern words were indeed delivered by coach Brendon Carolan who, quite rightly, believed that Pembroke were not being tough enough. There was an almost immediate response after the break with Pembroke’s hunger and aggression raising to expected levels with Craig Wilson to the fore. This intensity soon paid dividends with Karl Lynch netting high (“Unbelievably” in his own words) from a corner rebound. The pressure was mounting on the YM defence and the mercurial Timmy Hill was next to punish the YM backboard after a neat move down the right hand side. Keeper David Williamson smartly saved a YM penalty stroke which was incorrectly awarded after the was adjudged to have hit Karl Lynch’s body on the line from a penalty corner (despite the fact that Karl was cowardly standing about a meter outside the post).
However, despite a seemingly endless succession of penalty corners created by the forward line Pembroke were unable to level the tie but can take heart from a dominant second half display which, if repeated for 70 minutes in Sunday’s Leinster Cup final and the forthcoming IHL game against the same opponents the team should be able to garnish greater rewards than they were in this fixture. A cause for optimism.
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