All four teams in Group I of the men’s can still harbour hopes of reaching the men’s National Indoor Trophy semi-finals after a couple of draws left the group wide open. Glenanne are in pole position on four points following their early win over Clontarf, 5-3, as Richie Shaw and Paul Fitzpatrick struck in the last three minutes to grab the points.
They added a 5-5 draw with 2007 champions Pembroke to their tally, Joe Brennan netting a last minute corner to take a point and lead proceedings.
Clontarf lie second courtesy of their astonishing 8-2 demolition of Railway Union with Tom Noonan scoring one of four hat-tricks on the day. Pembroke are still very much in the mix following two draws and their tie with the Bulls on Sunday morning will decide which of the pair makes it through to the semi-finals.
Railway still have an outside hope of advancing but need a big win over the Glens.
Group II provides a stark contrast, last year’s finalists Three Rock Rovers and YMCA can enjoy a good night’s sleep as their pair of wins over Monkstown and Avoca mean they have already advanced to the semi-finals of the competition before their third group match against each other.
Monkstown were the unlucky losers, coming within a goal each time but ultimately Peter Blakeney’s winner in Rovers’ 7-6 win proved a pivotal moment.
It was his fourth goal of the second game of the day and ended a brave Town fightback. Three Rock built a 6-3 half-time lead only for Frank Ryan and Gareth Watkins’ double to tie the score up at 6-6 inside the last ten minutes. But Blakeney struck to give Rovers the points and they advanced when they eased to a slick 5-0 win over Avoca.
YM joined them in the last four, having earlier disposed of Avoca 5-1, with their 6-5 win over Monkstown. Their passage was equally fraught but they did overturn a 2-1 deficit to lead 6-3 via Todd Gill, Richie Pedreschi, Rob Whelan, Geoff Walker and Stephen Barry. Alec Barrett and Watkins did net in the last three minutes but the Y held on for the win.
It makes Sunday’s fixtures all but academic as the top two and bottom two facing off.
Meanwhile, on the women’s side Galway’s dreams of retaining the title are still very much alive after they toped Pool B in spite of losing their opening game against Old Alex.
Needing to win by two goals to qualify, they trounced UCD 5-0. Crucially, Galway recovered from a 4-0 deficit in their first tie against Alex and, while they lost in the end, the 5-4 result left them in the mix on goal difference.
And a comprehensive performance with Emma Glanville and Tara Browne leading the way meant they finished first on goal difference. Alex join them as a result of their Galway win and narrower loss, falling 4-2 to UCD in the second of the three group games.
Meanwhile, Hermes qualified as group winners from Pool B after Aine Connery’s last second corner goal earned a 3-3 draw in normal time. With Loreto absent, Aoife Harte struck the winning penalty stroke to decide group winner’s status.
Men’s National Indoor Trophy – results: Group I: Railway Union 4 (Karl Chapple, Killian Fitzgerald, Mark Egner, Paul O’Brien) Pembroke 4 (Alan Sothern, Ronan Gormley, Mick O’Connor, Alan Giles); Glenanne 5 (Paul Fitzpatrick 2, Richie Shaw 2, Joe Brennan) Clontarf 3 (Rob Abbott, Kevin King, Andrew Poynter); Pembroke 5 (Alan Sothern 3, Andy McConnell 2) Glenanne 5 (Gary Shaw 2, Graham Shaw, Paul Fitzpatrick, Joe Brennan); Railway Union 2 (Paul O’Brien, Killian Fitzgerald) Clontarf 8 (Tom Noonan 3, Andrew Poynter 2, John Lennon, Gareth Borland, Rob Abbott) Overnight standings: 1. Glenanne 4pts (+2) 2. Clontarf 3pts (+4) 3. Pembroke 2pts (0) 4. Railway Union 1pt (-6)
Group II: TRR 7 (Peter Blakeney 4, Alan Bothwell, Sven Galjaardt, Pierre de Voux) Monkstown 6 (Gareth Watkins 2, Andy Ewington, Alec Barrett, Frank Ryan, Brian Groves); YMCA 5 (Andy Walker 3, Will Powderly 2) Avoca 1 (Graham Dowling); Monkstown 5 (Gareth Watkins 2, Andy Ewington, Stephen Cole, Alec Barrett) YMCA 6 (Stephen Barry 2, Richie Pedreschi, Todd Gill, Rob Whelan, Geoff Walker); TRR 5 (Peter Blakeney 2, Liam Canning, Pierre de Voux, Colin Huet) Avoca 0 Overnight standings: 1. TRR 6pts (+6) 2. YMCA 6pts (+5) 3. Monkstown 0pts (-2) 4. Avoca (-9)
Women’s National Indoor Trophy – results: Pool A: Hermes 3 (Aine Connery 3) Railway Union 3 (Ruth Hutchinson 2, Claire McGarity); Hermes won group on penalty strokes 2-1 Standings: 1. Hermes 1pt 2. Railway Union 1pt Pool B: Old Alex 5 (Roz Ellis 2, Lucy Cotter, Michelle Heming, Laura McCoy) Galway 4 (Elaine Newell 2, Lynsey Trainor 2); UCD 4 (Kerry McComish 2, Rachel Burke, Julie Garvey) Old Alex 2 (Laura McCoy, Sylvia Gilsenan); Galway 5 (Maeve Faherty, Emma Glanville, Michelle Carey, Elaine Newell, Louise Conlon) UCD 0 Standings: 1. Galway 3pts (+4) 2. Old Alex 3pts (-1) 3. UCD 3pts (-3)
Women's semi-finals (Sunday): 12.30pm Old Alex vs Hermes; 1.30pm Railway Union vs Galway
* For more of Deryck Vincent's photos from the National Indoor Trophy, click here