Men look to IHL after Irish Senior Cup heartache

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Pembroke Wanderers have an immediate chance to put one over Monkstown this weekend when they face off on Saturday at 4pm in Park Avenue.

The current season for the 1st Team Squad can be described as successful in Leinster winning the Leinster Senior League (LSL) from Monkstown. However losing in the Leinster Senior Cup (LSC) to Fingal in the QF’s in February was disappointing. Getting to the Irish Senior Cup (ISC) Final was undoubtedly a success but losing 5-4; silver goal, was a disappointment.

The 2012/13 Season was one of frenetic activity in the three months up to Christmas with more than a 15 LSL and ISC matches played. However since then only the completion of the LSL, our exit from the LSC plus the Quarter, Semi and Final of the ISC have been played. The Irish Senior Cup run saw us defeat Lisnagarvey and Banbridge, two of Ulster’s top teams.

Paddy Conlon, player coach, has galvanised the young Squad to this success and there is optimism that they can progress to the finals of the most difficult Irish competition to win. He has been hugely helped during the season by Captain, Adam Pritchard and Manager, Robbie Meany. A particular piece of recent good fortune was the participation in the ISC Final week end of Ronan Flannery. Unfortunately Paddy Good has not recovered from his long term injury but is looking forward to next season to bring experience, pace and strength to the forward line.

Whilst the Squad is not entirely youth based you will have to search to find many over 30 (apart from PC) and teenagers abound. The younger element includes George Dagg, Mark Loughrey, Karl Lynch, Kirk Shimmins, David Kane, Geoff Garrett. Eric Foy and David Molloy.

The leading scorer in Leinster this season is ‘young veteran’ Alan Sothern. Such has been his scoring exploits in Leinster that Alan was recalled to the Irish international squad in February for the recent World Challenge 2 in India. Alan was joint top scorer in the Tournament; shared with an Indian player. He also met up there with some recent Pembroke international stalwarts; the Harte brothers, Ronan Gormley and Stuart Loughrey!

We were joined this season by Mark Ingram a young ‘keeper who has brought energy and presence to this position. This has been after several seasons where we have struggled to replace David Harte. It is never easy to replace an outstanding ‘keeper. Mark looks a very bright prospect indeed!

Other senior players have been superb in getting Pembroke back on top and none more so than Maurice (Mossie) Elliott. Mossie even found time to coach the Ladies 4th’s to a League win, unbeaten! Ben Grogan was another of the more senior players who has lifted his game considerably throughout the season.

The Squad now plays up to 7 matches in 5 weekends in the Irish Hockey League (IHL)! The established IHL format is such that a Club ‘pre-qualifies’ from the previous season and the top 12 Qualifiers are split into two Pools of 6.

The latest twist in the format is to play these over 4 consecutive weekends in April at different host clubs and the Top 2 in each Pool after 5 matches progress to the Finals Weekend playing on consecutive days. Winner of one Pool playing the runner-up in the other Pool and vice versa. This is more matches in 5 weeks than it takes to win the ISC over 5 months!

IHL venues
IHL venues for Pembroke are: Railway Union (6th April); YMCA, Alexandra College, (13th April); Lisnagarvey (14th April); Pembroke (20th April) and Cookstown (27th April). The opponents are respectively, Monkstown, Cork Harlequins, Annadale, Instonians and Cookstown.

The Squad now plays up to 7 matches in 5 weekends in the Irish Hockey League (IHL)!

The established IHL format is such that a Club pre-qualifies from the previous season and the top 12 Qualifiers are split into two Pools of 6.

The latest twist in the format is to play these over 4 consecutive weekends in April at different ‘host clubs’ and the Top 2 in each Pool after 5 matches progress to the Finals Weekend playing on consecutive days. Winner of one Pool playing the runner-up in the other Pool and vice versa. This is more matches in 5 weeks than it takes to win the ISC over 5 months!

The IHL venues for Pembroke are: Railway Union (6th April); YMCA, Alexandra College, (13th April); Lisnagarvey (14th April); Pembroke (20th April) and Cookstown (27th April). The opponents are respectively, Monkstown, Cork Harlequins, Annadale, Instonians and Cookstown.

Posted by PWHC

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