Three Rock Rovers lift provincial Indoor title

By Stephen Findlater

THREE Rock Rovers produced a superb second half performance to land the Men’s Leinster Indoor League title, seeing off Railway Union 6-4 in the final at St Columba’s College, writes Stephen Findlater.

Ross Canning and Jody Hosking were the guiding lights as Rovers fought back from 2-0 down to win  a fast-paced encounter.

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Three Rock Rovers fought back against Railway Union to win the Men's Leinster Indoor Hockey League title last weekend

That they reached the final stage, though, was a big feat as they looked down and out against Glenanne in the semi-final, losing 5-4 with a man in the sin-bin.

But after a Canning equaliser they went on to win the shoot-out with Jamie Carr saving three times, the last coming in sudden death.

In the final against Railway, Andy Colton turned in a Brendan Parsons’ cross before Kenny Carroll tore through on the right and flicked in.

They led 2-0 after 13 minutes as their counter-attack set-up paid early dividends, but Rovers picked off two corners within 60 seconds of each other with Canning slamming home each time for 2-2 draw at half-time.

Rovers did go in front for the first time seconds after the break when Hosking squared for Harry Morris to touch home. Hosking flicked in the next from Jack McAllister’s lay-off to make it 4-2.

Stephen O’Keeffe was playing a blinder in this phase with one of his saves managing to hit the roof at Columba’s before Canning tapped in the rebound.

Carroll’s low corner got Railway back in the mix with 12 minutes to go, but Hosking kept his cool off the boards to shoot in for 5-3 a few minutes later.

Railway survived a spell with Colton serving a yellow card suspension but, back to a full complement, McAllister then killed off the tie with a near post touch to Daragh Walsh’s pass.

Rob Abbott did get one back in the closing seconds but Rovers were in the clear, earning them one of the trophies they did not win last term, meaning their first team currently holds seven different titles.

Both finalists now advance to the National Indoor Trophy where they will come up against Ulster champions Cookstown and Munster winners Limerick at the Antrim Forum with the winner going to Europe in 2020.

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