Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Town twos take home the treble

Monkstown II completed a remarkable season on Sunday when they added the Leinster division three title to the Irish Junior and Railway Cups.

They did so by beating league rivals, Pembroke, 2-1 in a close-fought encounter at Rathdown. Pembroke made sure the title went to the wire when they dispatched Fingal II 2-1 on Saturday while the Town beat Railway 7-2 on the same day.

It meant Monkstown went into the decider with a three-point cushion, meaning at least a draw would seal the title while a loss would lead to a play-off for a second successive year.

Pembroke started on the offensive, forcing Monkstown to defend stoutly and before nicking a goal on the break from their first real attack through an Alec Barrett penalty stroke.

The visitors, though, continued to very much held sway possession-wise but never fully stretched Craig Ellis in goal while the sky-blues were always a threat on the break.

Maurice Elliott, Mick O’Connor and Craig Wilson were a constant danger, forcing Richard Sykes to excel in defence for the town.

Alastair Nolan was yellow carded for the town on the stroke of half time, aiding Pembroke as they piled on a barrage of attacks at the beginning of the second half.

But once restored to 11, Barrett earned a corner from which Sykes (pictured, above, celebrating with Theo Kirwan in the IJC final) dispatched a well taken drag-flick for 2-0.

Pembroke were then reduced to ten with Wilson seeing yellow for a bad tackle but they nicked one from a broken-down corner in his absence with the ball falling to Scott Furlong with ten minutes to go.

Pembroke threw everything forward but found Monkstown’s defences unbreachable to retain their title by a six point margin following a hectic final month of the season in which they saw off challenges from Corinthian, Three Rock (the Tuesday prior) and finally Pembroke in a run of five league games in nine days following double cup success earlier in the month.

* Following on from last month's round-up of the women's leagues, The Hook will endeavour to post stories about how each of the men's leagues finished up. Divisions four, five, six and eight have yet to be posted, please email stevie_findlats@yahoo.com with details to get your club heroes recognised!

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