Three Rock Rovers Win EY Champions Trophy

  • Apr 30,2017

Men’s EY Champions Trophy

Three Rock Rovers 2 (K Mullins, M Darling) Monkstown 1 (D Carson)

Mitch Darling’s 60th minute goal saw Three Rock Rovers land the EY Champions Trophy for the first time as they saw off Monkstown 2-1 at Grange Road.His goal made it 2-0, adding to Kevin Mullins’ first half opener, and while Davy Carson pulled one back, Rovers saw out the tie for a 13th successive win and the silverware.They had edged through Saturday’s semi-final against Lisnagarvey – as did Monkstown against Banbridge – after a shoot-out with both ties ending 3-3.Sunday’s final was a more controlled affair. Three Rock hit the front in the 15th minute when Jody Hosking cut loose down the left-hand side before firing a backhand shot to the right post where Kevin Mullins was on hand to guide home.Monkstown replied by winning a penalty corner but could not trap it and, otherwise, spent most of the half on the back foot as Rovers enjoyed long spells of possession. James Walker was twice denied by David Fitzgerald at close quarters while the Town goalkeeper also kept out Hosking and Ross Canning.Geoff Cole had the only shot in earnest for Monkstown but skewed his effort over the bar. Town stepped things up considerably in the third quarter with Andrew Ward making a number of strong runs, one of which just evaded Davy Carson’s dive.Luke Madeley was required to twice clear off the line from a Guy Sarratt drag-flick and a Geoff Cole follow-up. Rovers thought they had a second goal on the three quarter hooter when Madeley dragged in from their first penalty corner but it was ruled out as the initial stop was ruled not to have left the scoring circle before the shot came in.But three minutes after the resumption came Darling’s moment of magic, bursting through from halfway before unleashing a powerful shot past international team mate Fitzgerald. Monkstown again summoned a big fightback and got on the board when Lee Cole’s crash ball was turned in by Carson. He went close to grabbing another soon after but Jamie Carr got down well to prevent the equaliser.From there, Rovers held on for the victory, their first in the Irish Hockey League’s history having won the forerunner to the competition back in 2008 – the old Irish Club Championships.It earns them a place in the Euro Hockey League’s KO16 next Easter, meaning they will play in Europe twice as they also won the National Indoor Trophy.Banbridge, as EY Hockey League champions, will be the other Irish side in the Euro Hockey League and will contest ROUND1 next October.Reflecting on the men’s EY Hockey League season, Mike McKerr, Country Managing Partner, EY Ireland said: “As a firm, EY is extremely proud to be here today supporting Irish hockey at the culmination of these months of training, hard work and commitment from everyone involved since last September. “We are committed to building the highest performing and most diverse teams, and when it comes to leadership, teaming and developing winning strategies, there is a great deal to learn from professional sports people such as these players. We are also committed to gender equality and diversity – something which is at the heart of hockey – and therefore plays an important role in our continued sponsorship of the EY Hockey League.” 

Earlier, Cookstown came from 2-0 down in the first four minutes to beat UCD 4-3 and move back up to the EY Hockey League. Andrew Fogarty and Jeremy Duncan had UCD flying early on and they held the lead into half-time but goals in quick succession from Paul Thompson, Keith Black – a penalty stroke – and Ryan Millar swapped the lead around. Duncan levelled from a corner but Greg Allen scored a sublime winner for the Co Tyrone side.  

Monkstown: D Fitzgerald, N Dee, K Smith, D Carson, A Ward, D Cole, S Cole, G Cole, K Lynch, K Kenning, K GoodSubs: L Cole, G Groves, J Lynch, G Sarratt, S Hyland, R Quirke, M Maguire 

Three Rock Rovers: J Carr, L Madeley, M Darling, J Hosking, H Morris, M Samuel, K Mullins, B Walker, D Kane, R Nair, D WalshSubs: R McCollum, G Ringwood, R Canning, H McMahon, J Walker, C Empey, S O’Brien   

Weekend results

Men EY Champions Trophy

Semi-finals: Monkstown 3 (D Carson 2, L Cole) Banbridge 3 (O Magee 2, E Magee), Monkstown won 6-5 in shoot-out; 

Three Rock Rovers 3 (K Mullins, L Madeley, R Canning) Lisnagarvey 3 (T Cockram, D Nelson, A Williamson), TRR won 3-2 on shoot-out

Final: Three Rock Rovers 2 (K Mullins, M Darling) Monkstown 1 (D Carson)

Promotion-relegation playoff: Cookstown 4 (P Thompson, K Black, R Millar, G Allen) UCD 3 (J Duncan 2, A Fogarty)

WomenEY Champions Trophy

Semi-final: UCD 0 Loreto 0, UCD win 2-0 in shoot-out;

Hermes-Monkstown 6 (A O’Flanagan 3, N Evans 2, C Watkins) Cork Harlequins 2 (C Perdue, K Bateman)

Final: UCD 1 (E Russell) Hermes-Monkstown 1 (A O’Flanagan), UCD win 3-0 in shoot-out 

Promotion-relegation playoff: Belfast Harlequins 3 (L Geddes, R Johnston, L Johnston) Lurgan 1 (K Burns)  

Photo Credit: Adrian Boehm