Irish Cup: Banbridge defeat Monkstown in Dublin decider

Banbridge celebrate their Irish Cup success at Belfield on Sunday
Banbridge celebrate their Irish Cup success at Belfield on Sunday

Banbridge have won the Irish Cup for a second time in three years with a 3-1 victory over Monkstown in the final.

Johnny McKee tapped an early opener for the Ulster side in Dublin before Eugene Magee made it 2-0 with a powerful backhand volley.

Davy Carson unleashed a superb backhand shot into the top corner to pull one back but Magee completed his double to ensure another Banbridge success.

Meanwhile, UCD defeated Cork Harlequins 1-0 in the women's final.

Banbridge were the driving force from the start at Belfield and they hit the front with barely eight minutes on the clock.

McKee sets Banbridge on their way

Matthew Allister's cross looked innocuous but it somehow managed to slip through David Fitzgerald and a defender's clutches to allow McKee to slot home.

Monkstown sought to fight back quickly but they got little change in the first half from the Bann defence with Matthew Bell leading the way with some major tackles and blocks.

The Co Down side, however, were the much more incisive force going forward - Fraser Mills was twice denied by brilliant Fitzgerald blocks as Magee produced a few moments of magic.

Allister thumped over a good chance while McKee's cross flashed by the face of goal. They had to wait until the second half for the second goal but it was worth it when it came.

From their first corner, Magee's initial drag was saved but he caught the rebound and pumped in a volley at full throttle.

Joy for Banbridge after Johnny McKee fires the Ulster team in front in the Belfield final
Joy for Banbridge after Johnny McKee fires the Ulster team in front in the Belfield final

It brought Monkstown to life and they got one back in brilliant fashion, Carson escaping Bell's clutches on the left wing before netting with a fierce strike.

The killer blow came with 20 minutes to go when Mills picked up the ball 30 metres out. He flipped the ball through the legs of the last defender to get clear before squaring for Magee to roll into an open goal.

Monkstown threw everything they could forward after that, winning a number of penalty corners and creating a couple of goalmouth scrambles.

Gareth Lennox, though, coolly dealt with what came his way and Banbridge rode out the final quarter to land the trophy.

Banbridge: G Lennox, D Carlisle, K Marshall, Ph Brown, M Bell, Pe Brown, M Allister, J McKee, E Magee, J Wright, B McCandless

Subs: S Farson, R Beattie, F Mills, H McShane, L Roleston, D Ward, J Rowe

Monkstown: D Fitzgerald, N Dee, D Cole, J Lynch, K Lynch, K Good, L Cole, D Carson, G Groves, G Cole, S Cole

Subs: A Ward, K Smith, R Quirke, S Hyland, D Poff, M Maguire, K Kenning

Umpires: L Allen, N Mackay

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