Mens 5ths battle through to Cup Semis
PLAYING away from home is not ideal. Playing away from home on a muddy and grassy pitch is also not ideal. But what is ideal is, playing away from home on a muddy and grassy pitch and beating St. Brendan’s 2-1 in the Junior cup. This is exactly what the men’s fifths managed last Saturday.
The last clash between these two heavy weights finished three apiece in Serpentine Avenue, so a place in the semi-final of the cup against either Monkstown or Clontarf was all too play for.
The start of the first half seemed to be a bit of a slog between the two sides as most players were getting to grips with the soft mucky surface that grabbed the sticks as pass or a shot was made. However both defences were put to the test as brakes were made and fowls committed and with the calm collectiveness of Oisin De Barra, Ger O’Rourke and Les Roycroft manning the Pembroke defence calmness was dually restored.
Some may have thought that neither team looked like scoring, but when Pembroke were awarded their first short corner of the match Ben Raymond proved the critics wrong when his shot took a wicked deflection high over the keepers head and nestled nicely into the top corner, although the wind may or may not of had a part to play in that too. Tempers began to flare between both sides with Dave Flaherty putting his stamp on the game by showing no mercy to the opposition. However the safe haven of the half time whistle stemmed any feuds.
The second half saw Pembroke come out of the blocks like ravenous dogs as their attacking threat was extremely potent, causing all sorts of problems for the Brendan’s defence. It appeared that they had mastered the grass surface just as well as their counterparts, as a perfectly weighted pass from Andrew Stokes cut the Brendan’s defence in half and allowed for Peter Collins to run on to it and finish cleanly from the top of the D putting the ball through the legs of the advancing keeper.
There wasn’t long left in the game when Pembroke’s 2-0 lead was cut short, as a scramble in the D lead to Brendan’s scoring their only goal of the game, a very sloppy goal at that. Both sides seemed to shadow one another’s movements as the attacking threat from both sides dipped towards the end. Nevertheless this did not deplete Greg Furlong’s concentration, as the Pembroke shot stopper pulled off an excellent save to maintain his sides lead and guide them into the semi-final of the Junior Cup.
It was clear from the start that Pembroke had only one ambition, and that was to win. You could see that the team all shared the same desire as they played as a unit and not as individuals; they were playing for one another. Dave Flaherty proved this like no other, as he put in the Man of the Match performance. Now let’s hope they can repeat this performance in the next round so they can advance to the Cup Final.
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