Saturday, May 24, 2008

Men's Club Champs: Pembroke 0 Glenanne 0 (Pemb win 4-2 on strokes)

In the many chapters of Glenanne and Pembroke’s recent history, this will barely be remembered beyond the result. Pembroke won out 4-2 in the end on penalty strokes.

The boys in green will probably point to Gary Shaw’s disallowed goal as the key moment when he was denied what looked a good goal. That and a Stephen Butler drag-flick were the best opportunities on a day where dogged defence and midfield niggle were the defining factors.

Nip and tuck throughout, there was little to separate the sides in normal time in a fractious and tetchy affair. Neither side managed to get much sustained momentum going forward.

John McInroy drew a sharp save from Stephen Doran in the fifth minute. Graham Shaw had a couple of half-chances before Stephen Butler’s first drag-flick drew an excellent stick save from David Harte in the 20th minute.

Pembroke’s best chance fell to Paddy Conlon – who was terrier-like best in midfield – making the chance himself with a solid tackle on the 25. He seemed well set to shoot but decided to pass and the chance was gone.

Captain Craig Fulton was sin-binned just before the break as the Glens ended the half the stronger.

Pembroke started the second well, three Alan Sothern shots comfortably saved by Doran.

The game’s most controversial moment, though, went against Glenanne when Gary Shaw was denied. Off balance, he managed to fire across a shot from the baseline which deflected into the goal off Ronan Gormley – who was otherwise the game’s standout player. The hit looked well inside the circle but was deemed to be outside by Colin Hutchinson.

It was a key point in the game and was the last goalmouth action for some time. Pembroke looked in dire need of freshening up their forward line, playing virtually the whole half without a switch despite putting in a huge amount of yardage.

Eddie O’Malley almost got the winner with 90 seconds on the clock, reacting first to Graham Shaw’s reverse but could got under the ball to loop it into the Belfield Bowl.

Pembroke bossed extra time but to no avail leaving the lottery of penalty strokes.

After Fulton and Butler scored, Gordon Elliott saw his saved by Doran. But back-to-back misses from Joe Brennan and Devin Kehoe gave Pembroke the chance of securing a third successive final place.

Gormley, Sothern and McInroy all scored to bag the win.

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