Friday 24 May 2019

Denham seeks a Rovers return on his swansong as Three Rock face Lisnagarvey in Senior Cup


Niall Denham. Photo: Sportsfile
Niall Denham. Photo: Sportsfile

Three Rock Rovers coach Niall Denham is hoping to sign off on an incredible four-year spell at the helm today with a “double-double”.

The Rathfarnham club retained the EY Champions Trophy last Sunday and will now defend the Irish Senior Cup title this afternoon (3.45pm) at their Grange Road home against the same final opposition, Lisnagarvey.

It is over 18 months since Rovers lost at the venue and they have amassed 28 successive wins in knock-out competition all told en route to a dozen trophies across indoor and outdoor. It marks this out as a special period for the 126-year-old club, but Garvey have every intention of spoiling the party.

They were the last side to win there – a 2-1 league success in October 2017 – and will draw enough positives from the EY final to suggest they can cause problems, with Matthew Nelson set to be a key man.

For Rovers, Denham has confirmed he will step down as coach with Gareth Borland – his current assistant – set to take on the role.

Luke Madeley and Daragh Walsh are bound for contracts in Belgium, with Jamie Carr possibly following them and so they will be hoping for a big send-off.

The women’s final pits Loreto against Cork Harlequins at the same venue at 1.30pm.

The Beaufort side take the field without Irish internationals Ali Meeke, Nicci Daly, Hannah Matthews and Sarah Torrans due to the proximity of the Hockey Series Finals in Banbridge, the next phase of the Olympic qualifying process.

The same reason denies Quins the services of Yvonne O’Byrne, while Cliodhna Sargent is out due to an ACL injury and Rebecca Barry is away.

As such, Darren Collins will draw on a panel featuring eight schoolgirls as they chase their first Senior Cup title since 2000.

Irish Independent

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