Three Rock Rovers eventually prevailed on penalty strokes in their National Indoor Trophy semi-final, though an incredible comeback from Glenanne almost ended their reign as national champions.
Wendel Armstrong pulled off the vital save from Brendan Parsons’ stroke and Sven Galjaardt scored Rovers’ third to send Rovers through to the final.
A composed performance had them in a comfortable 4-1 lead with just three and a half minutes to go but a brilliant Graham Shaw solo goal began a run of three goals in jig time. Steven Doran was subbed off for an extra outfield player during which time Paul Fitzpatrick netted a corner and Eddie O’Malley equalised with 45 seconds remaining.
And they even won a corner on the hooter to win it but Alan Bothwell blocked and strokes ensued. Earlier, Peter McConnell and Paul Fitzpatrick exchanged corner goals before Peter Blakeney and Galjaardt extended the lead to 3-1 at the break.
Ringwood added a fourth in first minute of the second half and it looked plain-sailing before the Glens late fightback.
Pembroke will join them in the final following their come-from-behind win over YMCA, getting a 6-4 result over their near-neighbours. Alan Sothern got Pembroke off to the perfect start but it looked as if YM had their hard-running tactics worked out when they shot into a 3-1 lead courtesy of Rob Whelan's double and Andrew Walker's goal.
Mick O'Connor pulled one back before the break while YM weathered a three-minute Stephen Walker suspension early in the second half. But as soon as it was served, Sothern popped in a contested equaliser only for Trevor Dagg's corner to return the lead to YM.
But three goals in four minutes from Craig Wilson, Mick O'Connor and Sothern's third was the vital factor for Pembroke to return to the final stage for the first time in three years.
Men's National Indoor Trophy semi-finals: Three Rock Rovers 4 (Peter Blakeney, Sven Galjaardt, Peter McConnell, Sven Galjaardt) Glenanne 4 (Paul Fitzpatrick 2, Graham Shaw, Eddie O’Malley) TRR win 3-2 on penalty strokes; Pembroke 6 (Alan Sothern 3, Mick O'Connor 2, Craig Wilson) YMCA 4 (Rob Whelan 2, Simon Mills, Trevor Dagg) Final: Pembroke vs Three Rock Rovers, 7.30pm, National Basketball Arena
* For more of Adrian Boehm's photos from the National Indoor Trophy semi-finals, click here