Glens produce incredible fightback as Panther strikes

Pool A
Corinthian 4 (Glenn Holmes, Chris Pelow, Davy Carson, own goal) Glenanne 4 (Shane O’Donoghue, Eddie O’Malley, Joe Brennan, Jonathon Kane)

Yet another of the great comebacks in this tournament’s history as Glenanne recovered from 4-1 down with a little over six minutes to go to grab a draw, Jonathon Kane’s late strike inflicting a morally deflating blow to Corinthian.

The Glens have previous in this regard – only last May coming from 4-0 behind against Pembroke to force extra-time – but their favourites tag was severely put to the test.

A cagey opening quarter was devoid of clear chances as both teams relied on short corners to produce clear cut chances– two for the Reds which went unconverted and one for Glenanne with which Shane O’ Donoghue found the bottom right corner for 1-0.

Neil Young’s trickery earned a corner in the second quarter which was upgraded to a stroke when the ensuing strike hit a foot on the line. Chris Pelow did the necessary for his first goal of the season and the Irish international next found Davy Carson wide on the right. The forward cut in menacingly and hit an unstoppable reverse shot just inside the right post.

Brendan Parsons was yellow-carded for a foul on the raiding Jordan Sutton but the ensuing corner came to nothing but the lead was extended, with the Glens still down to ten, when Glenn Holmes’ persistence was rewarded with a tap in following a speculative shot.

An own goal seemed to sum up Glenanne’s woes as they fell 4-1 behind at three-quarter time but Ross Murray was still a busy man in the early part of the last stanza. A few classy saves delayed the comeback but Joe Brennan dispatched a corner to Murray’s right to start the goal-rush.

Eddie O’Malley made it 4-3 with a well-taken goal and, with Corinthian reduced to ten men for the last three minutes, the equaliser quickly began to look like an inevitability as Glenanne piled forward.

Gary Shaw’s cross into the circle saw Kane dive to deflect into the net with the last touch of the game to hand the sides two points a piece.

Cork C of I 1 (John Jermyn) Lisnagarvey 3 (Timmy Cockram 2, Daniel Buser)
With all around them drawing, Lisnagarvey took the early initiative in Pool A, winning at a wind-swept Garryduff as Jason Lynch was the star-man against his hometown club in front of the watching Paul Revington.

Facing international colleagues John Jermyn and David Hobbs, Lynch lit the touchpaper all afternoon while Timmy Cockram provided the finishing touches in a reasonably comfortable win.

A virtually chanceless opening quarter was followed by a second period in which the Hillsborough side took the lead, Cockram dragging home.

Daniel Buser added the second, getting on the end of a stunning Lynch reverse-stick cross in the 46th minute.

Jermyn pulled one back, dinging in off the underside of the bar from a corner but ’Garvey should have restored the two goal advantage in the fourth quarter. Greg Thompson’s stroke hit the inside of the post after Billy Lynch had deflected Thompson’s initial effort onto the body of Adam O’Callaghan on the goal line.

The killer goal came in the 64th minute, though, after Stuart O’Grady this time took one on the body in front of goal. This time Cockram stood up and scored from the spot.

Jermyn had a last second corner effort to salvage a losing bonus point but it was well-saved around the post by Alex McRoberts.

Cookstown 1 (Timmy Smyth) Annadale 1 (Chris Campbell)
With seven yellow and two red cards, this battle of Coolnafranky ended with honours even as Peter Caruth ad Godfrey Irwin look set for suspensions in the next round of the competition.

Chris Campbell opened the scoring in the second period from a corner but ’Dale were permanently reduced in numbers when Caruth received his second yellow card for breaking down play.

Cookstown drew three strong saves from Jonny Moore; Greg Allen, Stuart Smyth and Keith Black going close but they too were down to ten when Irwin was shown his second yellow. Timmy Smyth’s screamer drew the sides level to earn a share of the spoils.

Pool A Standings (points/goal difference): 1. Pembroke 4pts (+3) 2. YMCA 3pts (+1) 3. Instonians 2pts (0) 4. Banbridge 2pts (0) 5. Monkstown 1pt (-1) 6. Cork Harlequins 0pts (-3)

Pool B
YMCA 2 (Phil Marhall, Jonny Bruton) Monkstown 1 (Andy Ewington)
Jonny Bruton fired home a 60th minute winner to give YMCA a dream start to their life as an IHL side, getting up and running with three points against Monkstown at Alexandra College.

Despite early pressure – Bruton’s reverse forcing Dave Fitzgerald into action – the Town began to dominate in the second quarter and took the lead when Andy Ewington dragged home a corner past Iain Walker.

The New Zealander drew the best out Walker early in the second half but YM began to swing the game their way as time wore on with Phil Marshall and Andrew Walker becoming more influential.

The latter rattled the crossbar before Bruton forced yet another save from Fitzgerald. But the leveller finally came when Cliff Bailey’s excellent stickwork won a corner and Marshall converted a well-worked switch.

Fran Lee did cause concern in the fourth quarter, driving at the heart of the YM defence but Fitzgerald was still the busier of the two goalkeepers, saving from Bruton again, Marcus Richardson and Andy Walker before Bruton fired home another set-piece.

The Y took three points for their efforts while Monkstown registered a losing a bonus point.

Pembroke 5 (Jethro Eustice, Brandon Panther, Mick O’Connor 2, Karl Lynch) Cork Harlequins 2 (Dave Eakins, Phil McLaughlin)
Pembroke began the defence of their IHL crown with the only bonus point win of the men’s first series of games as new boy Brandon Panther inspired an incredible three goal salvo inside two third quarter minutes.

It lightened up a stodgy first half of minimal chances as Pembroke bossed possession but initially looked inert in the circle a tie described as “bloodless” by Irish Independent scribe David Medcalf.

Jethro Eustice did rattle the crossbar with one drag-flick and re-adjusted well with another mis-trapped corner to whip home the only goal of the first half.

But Panther – who arrived from South Africa on Friday – scored a divine goal in the 50th minute to make it 2-0. Colin Kelly slapped a great ball from the left on halfway to Alan Giles to deflect from the top of the circle to Panther on the left post and his full-length stretch was rewarded with a reverse touch which flipped over the sliding Chris Daunt.

Less than 25 seconds later, Panther did brilliantly down the right wing, pulling the ball back from the baseline to crack a reverse and Mick O’Connor was on hand to add the extra touch to ensure its passage into the net.

Eustice took a yellow after a couple of bites which, despite losing his shoe in the process, were unable to slow a Harlequins counter-attack and after a lengthy advantage, he was given his marching orders.

No matter, a winning bonus point looked a certainty by the 52nd minute – a mere 30 seconds after being reduced – when a slick team move down the left found Patrick Good on the baseline and his square ball found the sliding Karl Lynch to guide home a goal to savour for the former Cork C of I man against his old rivals.

Dave Eakins pulled one back in with nine to go from a corner but Mick O’Connor’s cracking forehand pump was touched in by Maurice Elliott for 5-1. Phil McLaughlin added a brilliant consolation goal after Dave Eakins moved a long corner five metres unopposed and wellied into the circle. It was behind McLaughlin’s body but he redirected with a upright stick off the inside of the post.

Instonians 2 (James Corry, Chris Kirk) Banbridge 2 (Ross McCandless, Stephen Dowds)
Chris Kirk’s close range finish to James Corry’s ball meant honours even at Shawsbridge in front of a more than decent crowd who were treated to a fast paced tie with plenty of chances.

The early pressure came from Banbridge with the McCandless Brothers being prominent in attack but the young Instonians defence well marshalled by Paul Gleghorne, ably supported by Adam Kyle and Stuart McWilliams. Inst were dangerous on the break with probing runs from William Robinson and Chris Kirk.

As the game progressed, Matthew Martin and new signing from Raphoe James Corry combined well on the right side for Instonians and from one of these move Martin worked his way into the circle found Corry who hammered home past Gareth Lennox.

On 32 minutes, Lennox made the save of the match when he got his left hand to a goal-bound shot from Chris Kirk.
But Bann mounted a period of sustained pressure in the second half and Ross McCandless got the equaliser from a penalty corner.

A minute later, Alistair Thom, the Inst keeper, made a brilliant save from Josh Moffett to keep it at 1-1 but the Co Down visitors did get in front for the first time in the 58th minute when a long ball out of defence found Moffett who passed to Steven Dowds who gave Bann the lead. But Inst got their leveller at the death to salvage a draw.

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

** Adrian Boehm’s photos from Pembroke vs Cork Harlequins are below

** Emer Keogh’s pics from YMCA vs Monkstown

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