Monkstown HC (IRL) beat Ukrainians to win European Trophy in Sardinia
Via Monkstown HC
Monkstown HC 2 (Caruth & Carson) v HC OKS-SHVSM (Ukr) 0
After defeating the Italians champions Bra HC 6-0, the Austrian champions Navax AHTC Wien 5-1 and the Azerbaijan champions Atasport 3-2, Monkstown qualified for the European Trophy Final on Monday in Cagliari, Sardinia versus the Ukrainian champions HC OKS-SHVSM. The Ukrainians were top class opposition with a squad that included 9 internationals.
In sweltering heat of over 30 degrees, Monkstown started brightly with Caruth deflecting over from close range and David Nolan firing just wide. Monkstown’s defence was playing solidly and stifled the disciplined deep approach and indoor hockey push and deflect tactics which the Ukrainians used. On 32 minutes the deadlock was broken when David Carson picked the ball up on the left hand half way line and made a great run holding off two defenders down the left wing and his reverse cross was turned home by a sliding Peter Caruth.
In the second half the Ukrainians pushed forward more and won three short corners in a row which were defended by the hard running out of Kyle Good and the line defence of Nick Dee and Lee Cole. On another occasion the Ukrainians broke free down the right only to be thwarted by a great save from David Fitzgerald. As time went on Monkstown were getting more opportunities on the break where Gareth Watkins fired narrowly wide from a good position, Kyle Good hit the post and there was an excellent save from an Andy Ewington short corner shot. However on 66 minutes Monkstown sealed the victory when a thrust from Kyle Good found Gareth Watkins on the left by line and his excellent cross was pushed home from close range by David Carson. The final few minutes passed without event and Monkstown were crowned champions which sent their crowd of 60 supporters wild. The Monkstown strength in depth was key to the victory where the whole 18 man squad needed to be used in the stifling conditions that we very different to what we are accustomed to at home. In fact the squad drank 60 litres of water to maintain hydration during the match.
This victory now means that Ireland will have a representative in the European Club Champions Trophy next season.
It was a fitting end to the career of player/coach Graham Shaw who has played first team hockey in Ireland and Europe for almost 20 years and won over 150 caps for Ireland, who announced his retirement from playing after the match.
Also, a special word to David Fitzgerald who was voted Goalkeeper of the Tournament.
Monkstown: David Fitzgerald, Jamie Carr, Lee Cole, David Cole, Richard Sykes, Ian Horsfield, Keith Kenning, Gavin Groves, Andy Ewington, Graham Shaw, Stephen Cole, Gavin O’Halloran, Nick Dee (capt), David Nolan, Kyle Good, Peter Caruth, David Carson, Ross Watkins, Jazze Henry, Gareth Watkins
Via Monkstown HC
Image Credit – Peter Nichols