Rock battle their way to Leinster Indoor crown

By Stephen Findlater

THREE Rock Rovers survived an almighty semi-final scare to retain the Leinster Men’s Indoor League title and preserve hopes of a fourth successive National Indoor Trophy.

They trailed Monkstown 5-4, but nailed a last-second penalty corner move to earn a shoot-out chance.

Three Rock Rovers Men 300120

Three Rock Rovers had to battle tooth and nail to retain their Leinster Indoor title

Their veteran goalkeeper Shane Davey came up trumps with a series of vital saves to put them through to a final date with Railway Union, 6-5 winners over YMCA in their semi.

In the final, the tie was wide open from the outset with both sides missing Irish internationals, but Jody Hosking flicked in a stunning reverse-stick finish and then profited from Mark English’s reverse pass for 2-0.

Still Railway got on the board when Fergal Keaveney picked out the late arriving Michael Fulham for a tip-in before Walsh finished off a Dylan Shirley cross for 3-1 after the first quarter.

Bruce Thompson’s score and Bjorn Daase’s corner levelled it at 3-3, but Rovers quickly replied through Ben Walker – the first of his six goals – and Hosking’s stroke to make it 5-3.

Jeremy McKeever and Shirley traded goals and then Thompson and Hosking swapped scores for 7-5 at half-time in a goal-fest.

But Rovers took control in the second half as Railway’s shortened bench of three subs began to take its toll against a deeper Rovers line-up.

Harry Morris’s spin and flick put three goals between the sides for the first time. Eoin MacArthur had a score disallowed for a corner never leaving the circle and Rovers scored within a few seconds through Walker.

Hosking made it 10-5 before Daase cut that lead to four from a stroke, but Walker went on to score four times in three minutes to well and truly make the game safe with Keaveney getting one back on the hooter.

Both sides advance to next Sunday’s national semi-finals with Railway facing Munster champions Limerick and Rovers up against the winners from Ulster, Banbridge, who beat Queen’s and Cookstown on their return to indoor action.

MEANWHILE Three Rock’s Under-14 boys captured their res-pective Leinster Indoor Tournament title, winning out 5-4 against YMCA in the final.

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