Jody Hosking scored a dramatic winner 48 seconds from time to see Three Rock Rovers retain the EY Champions Trophy title at Grange Road in front of their home support, capping an incredible season for the Rathfarnham club.
The captain was on hand to poke home a dramatic last-gasp effort, following up after Harry Morris’s first up effort had come back off the post.
It was their second successive last minute winner of the weekend, earning their final spot with a 2-1 win over Lisnagarvey in the very last play a day earlier in the semi-final.
Rovers went in front at half-time when Peter Blakeney dragged home for 1-0 and the advantage. Luke Madeley hit the post, too, in the second half as Glenanne – the regular season champions – hung in there and got level with 10 minutes to go when Shannon Boucher fired in a rocket.
But Rovers reacted well and had a couple of big chances in the closing stages before Morris got free from a quick long corner move and poked at goal.
It hit the post into the gleeful path of Hosking who tapped in and celebrated in spectacular style.
“To be honest, I was off to celebrate as I thought Harry’s shot was going in!” Hosking said of his goal. “I was just lucky to be in the right place at the right time and is just looped into the corner.”
“Winning is definitely a habit. I thought we played really well both days, getting lots of possession, lots of circle entries and maybe not got enough goals from that. The character of the lads to stick with it, we knew it would go to the last minute!”
It was their sixth title in all competitions this season, adding to the Irish Senior Cup and the National Indoor Trophy as well as the Neville Cup, the Mills Cup and the EuroHockey Indoor Club Challenge II t.
It ensures they will go back to Europe next season as national champions in both outdoor and indoor.
“You can’t put it into words. The lads have been incredible and worked hard. It comes from a big squad, the young lads coming through won us that Neville Cup and will hopefully be pushing us. We know this is a special group and we will try and push on from this because next year will be a massive task to get anywhere near where we are now.”
EHL HOCKEY TV | Images: Adrian Boehm