FINGAL WILL be desperate to bring their miserable league run to an end when they travel to bottom club Avoca in a proverbial sixpointer next Saturday.
John McInerney's charges are playing some good hockey but not getting the results, last weekend's two matches being a good case in point as they suffered unfortunate away defeats. They travelled to title contenders Three Rock Rovers on Saturday and found themselves trailing 2-0 at half-time, having won three corners to none and missed a couple of great chances. Fingal eventually pulled a goal back 10 minutes from the end when David Bane converted a corner after great play from Andrew Shekleton, but the equaliser wouldn't come and Three Rock rubbed salt in the wounds by netting from a disputed corner in the 68th minute. The first half of their second game of the weekend, away to Pembroke, was similarly frustrating as Fingal played well but found themselves a goal down at the interval from the only corner Pembroke won in the entire half. Ten minutes after the restart Paddy Gahan's fine approach play presented a chance to Marcus O'Brien who netted with a great reverse hit, but opportunities for the visitors to take the lead weren't taken and Pembroke profited from a mistake at the back to edge 21 in front. Shane Dempsey restored parity once more on 55 minutes with a good finish, but the real turning point in the match came when Eamonn Bane was controversially yellowcarded for what was deemed to be a stick raised above shoulder height, and Pembroke scored from the resulting corner to take a 3-2 lead. On Eamonn's return from the sin-bin Fingal staged a late rally, but as they pushed for an equaliser they were caught out right at the death as their hosts plundered a fourth and decisive goal.
FINGAL: Nigel Grothier, David Bane, Eamonn Bane, Conor Connolly, Andy Marshall, Andrew Shekleton (v Three Rock), Marcus O'Brien (v Pembroke), Simon McKeever, Luke Hayden, Adrian Sweeney, Paddy Gahan, Shane Dempsey. Rotation subs: Ben Chilliingworth, Alan Davis, Jeremy McKeever. - Portrane lost 3-2 away to Saintfield in round one of the Men's Irish Hockey Challenge last Saturday.