Inst hail gr-eight start to coach's new career
Mossley 2 - Instonians 8
Level-headed Instonians coach Stephen Redpath refuses to get carried away even though his team inflicted a crushing defeat on Mossley to land the first trophy of the season on Boxing Day at Playball, Stormont.
With the Kirk Cup tucked under his arm after just four months into his first senior coaching role, Redpath is already being hailed as the man to guide the Shaw's Bridge squad into the Irish Hockey League next season.
But that's something that he shrugs off at the present. Instead his target is to complete the domestic target by adding the Anderson Cup and the Premier League title, and only then will he start thinking about the prolonged eight-team provincial play-offs from which his team can join the all-Ireland elite.
"Winning the Kirk Cup is a great start to my coaching career, and the players prepared well and were clinical in their success," said the former Ireland international.
"But talk of the IHL is a little premature. Kilkeel remain hot on our heels in the league and we have to stay focused, and we'll worry about the IHL if and when we qualify for the play-offs.
"In the meantime we'll relish winning the Kirk Cup, and we're sorry that our club chairman Tom Reid was unable to see the success, and we wish him well and a speedy recovery and look forward to seeing him along the sidelines again."
It certainly turned out to be an entertaining final, with three goals in the first eight minutes, six by half-time, and a further four in the second period to keep the sizeable crowd interested despite the wet weather.
For Mossley it was the nightmare start. Coach Fergie Cosgrove wanted them to keep it tight early on but instead they froze on thr big occasion and were behind within 50 seconds and trailing by two after just six minutes, which meant they had to chase the game and in so doing created space for Inst to open their defence at will.
Alan Patterson did the early damage, finishing off a by-line cross, and then dashing into the circle and roofing the second despite crashing to the ground.
Mossley quickly responded through skipper Jordan Robinson but when William Robinson converted a penalty stroke followed by Stephen Kelso squeezing home the fourth, it looked all over as a contest.
Credit to Mossley, they fought back again and Jordan Robinson got his second before the break but late in the second half they collapsed as Inst took advantage of a tiring midfield.
Andrew Coulter converted a penalty corner, and then James Dowling deflected in William Robinson's crash ball into the circle before getting his second barely a minute later.
Kelso completed the scoring but Mossley's luck was summed up when Inst keepere Paddy Guy saved two certain goals late on.
"We got off to a perfect start when Alan Patterson scored two excellent goals but, all credit to Mossley because they dug deep and made it hard for us until late on," said Inst captain Andrew Corry.
INSTONIANS: Paddy Guy, Stuart McWilliams, Andrew Corry, Matthew Johnston, Andrew Coulter, William Robinson, James Dowling, James Corry, Chris Kirk, Stuart McNeice, Alan Patterson, Ben Palmer, Matthew Martin, Stephen Kelso, John Watson, Rob Cummins, Josh Irwin, Ross McKnight
MOSSLEY: Ben McMillan, David Glenny, Stephen Clarke, Alan Mullan, Ross McIvor, Richard McClintock, Philip Kane, Matthew Sullivan, Philip Hamill, Joel Cathcart, Jordan Robinson, Tim Moreland, Aaron Boyd, Mark Moreland, Jordan Barr, Adam Monahan, Sam Campbell, Owen Doole
Umpires: Eamonn McFerran, Patrick Wright.