Pembroke and Lisnagarvey will look to add the third trophy of potential triples today as the Irish Senior Cup finals return to Belfield for the first time since 2018.
hey won the respective EY Hockey League and EY Champions Trophy finals and now have Catholic Institute and Monkstown standing in the way of a national clean-sweep.
The women’s final is first on court, Pembroke will be looking to repeat last Sunday’s comprehensive success against Insta in which they produced a wonderful display of tight defending.
A feature of their play has been the spread of goalscorers, with 16 different players weighing in with none scoring more than six. It’s a stat which makes it difficult for opponents to know where to defend, according to Gillian Pinder.
“Sure, when you have so many people scoring goals, who do you pick up!” Pinder said. “It’s a great problem to have. We were never reliant on one or two individuals to make sure we get the win!”
For Catholic Institute, it has already been a groundbreaking season and they would dearly love to bring a first senior title back to Rosbrien.
“Our club has been to two Irish Senior Cup finals in the past and yet to win any,” said captain Róisín Upton. “I don’t think the idea we are in Europe has sunk in yet. When we reflect on the season, we will be delighted. A final of the Champions Trophy and a final of the cup, it is a fantastic achievement for our little club in Limerick.”
In the men’s final, reigning champions Garvey are hoping to land a 25th title but they face a Monkstown side who pushed them to the limit last Saturday in the Champions Trophy semi-final.
Indeed, the Dubliners had one foot in the final with three minutes to go courtesy of Jeremy Duncan’s second half goal. But a stunning late salvo from Andy Williamson and Matthew Nelson with just seconds to go saw the Hillsborough side nab a 2-1 victory from the embers.
They followed up a day later with a shoot-out win over Banbridge in the final; having won the regular league season on goal difference from Three Rock Rovers, it shows how tight the margins are in the men’s top five but Garvey seemingly hold that vital mental edge in a clinch.
And they could conceivably win five titles if they win the Ulster Kirk Cup and the EuroHockey Club Challenge I in the Czech Republic in June.
“To win these two trophies and a massive test against Monkstown, to have that opportunity for the treble is fantastic,” said Daniel Nelson in the wake of the Champions Trophy.
“An Ulster Cup final and a European trip after that! Everyone thinks our season is almost done but we still have a month to go!”
Monkstown, meanwhile, are looking to score their first trophy since 2016 and fifth Senior Cup overall. Their opponent that day? Lisnagarvey with Jonny Bruton striking in the last 90 seconds to earn a shoot-out in which the sky-blues prevailed. They have eight of that panel still around but Guy Sarratt was unavailable last weekend, their top scorer a big miss from play and corners.
Women: Irish Senior Cup Final: Pembroke Wanderers v Catholic Institute, Belfield, 1.30pm
Men: Irish Senior Cup Final: Monkstown v Lisnagarvey, Belfield, 3.45pm