Stephen Butler’s 54th minute corner strike ended Pembroke’s two-year reign as Irish Senior Cup champions at Serpentine Avenue and advance to the last eight of the competition.
The fixture will scarcely make it into the pantheon of great ties between the sides with a total of 14 time-stoppages in play – only two for injury – gave an idea of the slow, static nature of a tie that usually sets the pulse racing.
Glenanne effectively took the sting out of Pembroke’s flyers and left the hosts resorting to crash-balls from 30 metres out long before the scoreboard-timer served to confuse both teams in the endgame.
The Glens soaked up pressure, enticing Pembroke away from their preferred counter-attack game and they found space a scarcity. It could have been a very different game had Pembroke taken any of three first half chances.
Alan Giles’ high deflection dinged off the post in the 14th minute and Butler intercepted a Patrick Good pull-back soon after, a metre from his line and the lurking Alan Sothern.
Steven Doran – playing with a cortisone injection to assuage pain in his cracked rib – produced a brilliant stick save to deny Tim Lewis’ measured strike to leave it 0-0 at the break.
But they were rare openings. Corner situations were sparse and when they came were frustrating for all concerned, Pembroke’s first effort in the 42nd minute taking upwards of two minutes to finally settle following lengthy protests, line-breaks and delayed push-outs, before the shot zinged wide.
David Shaw was yellow-carded in the aftermath of that incident for a body-check but it was in this period Glenanne made the killer move. Mick McGuinness flew down the left wing and was unceremoniously nudged over just over the 22-metre line.
Butler held his nerve from the ensuing corner, the Glen’s second, forging a gap between David Harte and Tim Lewis for the day’s only goal.
A series of Pembroke pumped balls came the direction of Doran’s goal but Brennan and Butler dealt comfortably with the majority. One that got away was Sherriff’s bash into Andy McConnell’s path but Jonathan Kane applied enough pressure to ensure the ball went the wrong side of the post.
At this stage, the ground’s scoreboard ticked to zero though was not including time stoppages. The countdown, though, might have played quite a significant factor in the Glens dribbling for the corner and Pembroke’s play taking on a more ragged fashion having stuck rigidly to a two-third press for 65 minutes.
The Hook’s personal timer still read nearly six minutes to play, the majority of which Alan Lewis had to sit out for the day’s second yellow card. Mick O’Connor won Pembroke’s second corner in the last minute. Another lengthy delay saw Doran become the second Glens player green-carded for time-wasting at a corner but McGuinness was off the line like a light to get something on Sothern’s drag.
Suggestions it hit his foot were waved away as Glenanne celebrated but the final whistle had still not been blown but the ‘Broke weren’t alert enough to capitalise from the long corner and the tie was finally sealed.
Elsewhere, just three other fixtures survived the frost or snow as Monkstown woke up to a blanket of snow in Raphoe, Instonians and Banbridge had a tie postponed for the second time in a week and Three Rock’s hosting of Cookstown was also put on the long finger.
Corinthian were the big Leinster winners of the day. They out-classed Cork C of I in the second half of their tie at Whitechurch Park – moved from the main pitch to the recently laid second-surface at St Columba’s – to win 4-3.
Darren Kimfley and Lucas Piccioli’s link-up play was again superb while the hosts strong spine based on the strength of Andrew Cronje and Brian Doherty was too much for CI who relied heavily on Jermyn’s drag-flicks for inspiration.
The pair were locked at 2-2 at the break with but the reds raced clear in the second period and, but for Jermyn’s final hooter strike, could have had a more emphatic win. YMCA and Fingal both bowed out of the competition to mid-table northern opposition, losing to Kilkeel and Lisnagarvey, respectively.
In ALSAA, Paddy Gahan produced an excellent opening goal but Fingal were unable to hold onto the lead, conceding to a neat Greg Thompson reverse just before half-time and they relinquished the tie in the 66th minute. Up to then, Garvey had enjoyed the majority of possession but Fingal had the clearer cut chances only to be sucker-punched in the closing stages.
YM, meanwhile, dropped out of the cup with Gareth Russell’s double proving crucial for the Mourne men. YMCA had led 2-0 at half-time via David Robinson and Andy Walker but Kilkeel bounced back in the second half to take the result. Robinson, too, may be out of action for a couple of weeks following a hand injury sustained during the game.
The draw for the third round was postponed due to the volume of cancellations.
No play occurred in division two with Avoca’s trip to Weston and Suttonians jaunt to play Dublin Uni at Grange Road ruled out due to frost.
Irish Senior Cup, round two results: Pembroke 0 Glenanne 1 (Stephen Butler); Kilkeel 3 (Gareth Russell 2, William Annett) YMCA 2 (David Robinson, Andy Walker); Fingal 1 (Paddy Gahan) Lisnagarvey 2 (Greg Thompson 2); Corinthian 4 (Darren Kimfley 2, Chris Pelow, Brian Doherty) Cork C of I 3 (John Jermyn 2, Nick Burns)
* Deryck Vincent's photos from the Pembroke vs Glenanne game can be seen here