HOCKEY: Banbridge lift Irish Senior Cup with win over Monkstown

Johnny McKee of Banbridge with the trophy

Johnny McKee of Banbridge with the trophy

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BANBRIDGE 3 MONKSTOWN 1

Two superb goals from Eugene Magee clinched Banbridge their second Irish Senior Cup in three years with a 3-1 victory over holders Monkstown in Dublin yesterday.

Banbridge celebrate winning the Irish Hockey Men's Senior Cup Final

Banbridge celebrate winning the Irish Hockey Men's Senior Cup Final

The result keeps Bann on course for an EY Irish Hockey League and cup double after a thoroughly-deserved win watched by a four-figure crowd at the National Hockey Stadium.

After Johnny McKee had scoredan opportunist goal early on, Magee made it 2-0 and then added his second to seal the deal after Monkstown had pulled one back.

Bann held on with a degree of comfort, with goalkeeper Gareth Lennox looking solid any time the Dublin side threatened a comeback, usually from set-pieces.

The Ulster side took the game by the scruff of the neck from the start and took only eight minutes to open their account when, after great work down the right by Matthew Allister, McKee swooped to score from close-range.

Banbridge celebrate the opening goal

Banbridge celebrate the opening goal

Twelve minutes later, Monkstown keeper Davy Fitzgerald prevented a second goal, when he saved from Frazer Mills and then Allister shot narrowly wide.

Three minutes after the restart, Bann doubled their lead with a sublime strike by Magee which left Monkstown with too much to do.

Magee’s initial drag-flick from a penalty-corner was saved by Fitzgerald but the ball fell straight back into the Irish international’s path and he hammered it home on the backhand with a venomous first-time shot.

Six minutes later, Monkstown reduced the deficit with a fine goal scored by David Carson, who cracked home a reverse-stick shot after good work on the left-hand side of the D.

Banbridge celebrate the opening goal

Banbridge celebrate the opening goal

But any hopes the Leinster side might have had of a revival were short-lived as Magee got his second and Bann’s third in the 50th minute.

Mills gathered the ball 23 metres out on the right and set off on a great run towards the goal-line and pulled the ball back for Magee to score with a first-time shot from close-in.

With 10 minutes left, Lee Cole got in a drag-flick from a Monkstown set-piece put Lennox came to the rescue and Bann held on without too much difficulty for a memorable victory.