Pembroke and Garvey in pole position

Men’s Irish Hockey League results:
Group A: Pembroke 3 (Justin Sherriff 2, Alan Sothern) Cork Harlequins 0
Pembroke were held at bay for long periods by Cork Harlequins, in particular by Reinout Mensink, but their overall dominance eventually won out as they picked up a bonus point win courtesy of Justin Sherriff’s late double.

In truth, it was all one-way traffic with ’Quins mustering just one shot as they spent the game with 11 men behind the ball and just a series of overheads to relieve the incessant pressure.

But they came within ten minutes of stealing a bonus point for a narrow loss before two brilliant Sherriff strikes gave the ’Broke all four points on offer.

Mensink, helped by John Hobbs, had managed to deny every Pembroke effort in the first half with player-coach Craig Fulton hitting the post while Alan Sothern and Mick O’Connor both had chances
Sothern eventually broke the deadlock just before three-quarter time from a corner and, with Mark Black serving a five-minute sentence for not retreating at a free, Pembroke used the numerical advantage to seal the win.

Sherriff took in Ken Treacy’s long ball and smashed in an unstoppable shot in the 61st minute and his second a mere 90 seconds later earned the winning bonus point from a tight angle

Monkstown 2 (Andy Ewington, Alec Barrett) Corinthian 2 (Darren Kimfley, Lucas Piccioli)
Monkstown picked up their first points of the 2009/10 IHL season with Andy Ewington striking inside the last ten minutes to deny Corinthian a second straight victory in their debut season.

Alec Barrett opened the scoring getting on the end of an Andrew Ward cross, to score a great opener but Lucas Piccioli levelled inside two minutes.

The reds were reduced in numbers four times – two yellows, two greens – but Darren Kimfley returned from a five-minute suspension to fire Corinthian back into the lead in the 59th minute.

However, Ewington responded instantly with a drag flick to tie the game up and, in spite of Brian Groves’ yellow card, the Town secured two points for the draw at Rathdown.

Banbridge 1 (Stephen Dowds) Instonians 0
Stephen Dowds nabbed the only goal of an intriguing tie at Havelock Park on Sunday afternoon, delayed after the fog had prevented the tie from being played on Saturday evening.

A major threat throughout, the youngster scored the only goal of the game in the fourth quarter, latching onto Niall Kelly’s pass to finish past Nigel Skillen and earn a vital three points.

Dowds had gone close in the early stages while the returning Mark Irwin also flashed a shot wide. Ross McCandless let a couple of corner opportunities slip away as chances were hard to come by. But Dowds secured the win late on to move the Co Down side into fourth in the group.

Pool A: 1. Pembroke 7pts (+4) 2. Instonians 5pts (+2) 3. Corinthian 5pts (+2) 4. Banbridge 4pts (0) 5. Monkstown 2pts (-3) 6. Cork Harlequins 0pts (-5)

Group B: Three Rock Rovers 3 (Peter Blakeney 2, Patrick Shanahan) Glenanne 4 (Stephen Butler 2, Gary Shaw, Shane O’Donoghue)
Glenanne got their IHL campaign back on track after an opening day defeat to Cookstown with a spectacular 4-3 win over Three Rock Rovers at Grange Road.

Rovers will rue their indiscipline which saw three players yellow carded and two serving green-card suspensions as they spent much of the game on the back foot but almost nicked a last gasp draw for the second round running.

Gary Shaw – a constant presence in attack in combination with the excellent Graham Shaw – opened the scoring, waltzing in from the right wing to slip the ball in at the near post.

Peter Blakeney levelled in fine style, collecting Garry Ringwood’s through-ball and deftly flipping over the on-rushing Steven Doran, playing through the pain barrier despite a cracked rib.

Rovers survived five minutes of 11 vs 9 play with Pierre de Voux and Alan Bothwell both on yellow cards while Joe Brennan was also binned for two minutes but, with the hosts restored to the full complement, the Glens got the lead back when Shane O’Donoghue finished after fine work by Stephen Butler and Alan Lewis.

Patrick Shanahan completed an excellent team goal – created by Colin Huet and de Voux – from 2-2 in the third quarter but a pair of brilliant Butler drags soon had Glenanne in the driving seat.

Peter McConnell and Lewis were both sin-binned but, with the latter on a yellow, Rovers got one back from a Blakeney corner. Their task to equalise was made slightly tougher when Bothwell was shown yellow for a second time – on this occasion for dissent from his side’s coaching staff – but de Voux almost levelled in the last minute.

He deflected well but Doran was brilliantly off his line to smother the danger and Glenanne took three points, a result they probably deserved on the balance of possession of an incredibly lively game.

Cookstown 1 (Colin Donaldson) Lisnagarvey 3 (Greg Thompson 2, Timmy Cockram);
Lisnagarvey became the pace-setters in Pool B as the only side with two wins from two as they got the better of Cookstown at Coolnafranky, Greg Thompson’s double doing the damage.

He set the ball rolling side three minutes, finishing off Timmy Cockram’s assist, a lead they held until half-time.

Colin Donaldson levelled following a great solo run but Garvey retook the lead when Thompson drove home. Cockram netted a 54th minute penalty stroke to confirm the win and top spot with six points.

Cork C of I 4 (John Jermyn 2, Peter Catchpole, Nigel Buttimer) Annadale 3 (Ian Hamilton 2, Jonny Quigley)
Cork C of I moved into second place in the Group B standings as the Garryduff men built a lead and learned their lessons from their opening day draw with Three Rock to hold on for the points against Annadale.

In a whirlwind opening, Ian Hamilton had whipped the visitors into the lead inside 70 seconds but three goals in a five minute spell had CI 3-1 up by the end of the first quarter.

John Jermyn dragged in the equaliser before Nigel Buttimer bashed in from the top of the circle and Peter Catchpole finished off a magnificent move, set in motion by Alec Moffett, for 3-1.

Jonny Quigley pulled one back in the second quarter but Jermyn restored the two goal advantage by the 43rd minute when he scored a trademark drag-flick.

Billy Lynch was adjudged to have brought down a ’Dale striker seven minutes later and Hamilton converted the ensuing stroke, setting up a raucous last 20 minutes.

Plenty of chances came and went, including a last minute corner for Annadale but the stop was missed leaving Jermyn to break and set up Moffett but he was unable to mark a fine personal performance with a counter-attack goal and deny Annadale a bonus point.

Pool B: 1. Lisnagarvey 6pts (+4) 2. Cork C of I 5pts (+1) 3. Glenanne 4pts (0) 4. Three Rock Rovers 3pts (-1) 5. Cookstown 3pts (-1) 6. Annadale 1pt (-3)

* For Adrian Boehm’s photos from the Pembroke vs Cork Harlequins game, click here.

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