Mens and Ladies 2nds earn well deserved IJC home draws

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Great results for the Mens and Ladies 2nd teams in the 1st round of the Irish Junior Cup on Saturday – both travelled north and both fought hard for their victories – the Men taking their tie 3-4, the Ladies winning out 0-1. The prize for both are home draws against familiar opposition on February 4th, the lads will play Corinthians, while Mick O’ Connor’s Ladies 2nds will welcome UCD 2nds to Serpentine for the second time this season.

Mens 2nds report
When the first round draw was made for the Irish Junior Cup, Pembroke were handed a formidable contest away to Instonians. It was to prove a testing encounter for the youthful 2nd XI squad. After a cagey opening by both sides, Pembroke began to create chances and were rewarded with a smartly taken opening goal from Maurice Elliott. Over the next 15 minutes Instonians’ greater experience showed and they first equalised, and then scored a second to establish a lead.

Pembroke didn’t panic and, with a number of players raising their game, scored an excellent goal through Cillian Hynes. Midfield, as expected, provided an intriguing battle and Eric Foy and George Dagg adapted excellently to the step up in standard. Scott Furlong was proving influential and it was his flicked short corner that gave Pembroke a 3-2 half time lead. The second half wasn’t quite as frantic as the first, Instonians relying on crashing balls into the Pembroke circle where Duncan McKeen and David Kane led a solid defensive effort.

Scott Furlong grabbed two goals for the lads

Instonians did sneak an equaliser but with Pembroke playing the better hockey another goal for the away side always looked likely and the winner duly came with 5 minutes to go. A cleverly won short corner was again dispatched by Scott to give Pembroke a hard fought, but thoroughly deserved victory.

A joint man of the match award went to David Kane and Scott Furlong, but the entire squad contributed to an excellent effort. The 2nd round should prove equally exciting with a home tie against Corinthians on February 4th.

This reporter was lucky enough to be at the Ladies 2nds match at Hillsborough:
In a repeat of last year’s IJC Round 1 Pembroke ladies 2nds were Northbound for a match against the 2011 finalists, except this time it was Lisnagarvey instead of Randalstown. The all-yellow kit of the ladies was about the only splash of colour on an otherwise bleak and bitterly cold day, but in keeping with their attire the Ladies started brightly and dominated the first half. ‘Garvey struggled to get on the ball and retain possession and PW capitalised on their opponent’s rocky start.

Joanna had another great game for the 2nds

The incessant pressure around the circle from the Pembroke forwards resulted in an early corner, and Eimear McCarthy hammered home a direct shot to take the lead. It seemed like this would be a comfortable win, but ‘Garvey came out fighting in the second half and started to make some impact up front. The back line held up well however, and some incredible saves from injured keeper Anna O’Connell, who had to get some last minute physio on Friday night to make the journey, kept the ‘Garvey forwards frustrated.

The mids and forwards worked tirelessly tracking back and pushing forward, and Anna O’Grady was unlucky not to score from a solo effort break from the half way line. The game finished 1 nil to the joy of both the team and the cluster of frozen supporters who had travelled to watch.

Posted by PWHC

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