Men’s Leinster Division One
Glenanne 3 (Eddie O’Malley 2, Paul Fitzpatrick) UCD 3 (Shane O’Donoghue 2, Nick Burns)
UCD’s freak late goal punched an unlikely hole in Glenanne’s title charge while also providing a late swing to keep them just about mathematically able to avoid the relegation playoff game. It continued the students bizarre up and down form which has seen them pick off results against the Glens and Pembroke. They looked for all the points when Shane O’Donoghue ran through on his reverse and knocked home the first.
Nick Burns dragged home for 2-0 at half-time but Glenanne produced one of their customary comebacks. Eddie O’Malley pulled his side level, first finishing off a corner deflection move then getting on the end of Richie Shaw’s backhand reverse. And they hit the front inside the last minute when Paul Fitzpatrick hit home a corner for 3-2.
There was precious little time to restart but UCD whacked the ball forward only for the ball to be left to bounce onto the post and back into play, leading to a follow-up attack winning a corner. O’Donoghue netted to the stick side to grab a share of the spoils. Glenanne stay one point clear of Monkstown but, with a game extra played, it was important pair of dropped points.
Corinthian 1 (Davy Carson) Monkstown 2 (Kyle Good, Stephen Cole)
Monkstown were thankful to the work of Mark Ingram between the posts as he pulled off a series of fine saves to help swing the pendulum of momentum back in their favour. The sky blues welcomed back David and Stephen Cole after their respective injuries and they looked good albeit in reduced spells on the pitch. The elder brother laid on the pass for Kyle Good after a turnover, allowing the striker to hit the left baseline before turning his marker and cutting back and sliding home.
Davy Carson levelled with his 18th of the campaign from a corner move but Stephen Cole got the decisive goal before half-time. In the second half, Ingram denied Carson and Glenn Holmes a number of times as the reds found their men up top in more dangerous positions than the Town who enjoyed more of the possession but could not create as much.
No further goals ensued though and the Town go into a big double weekend with the title back in their own hands courtesy of their main rivals’ draws. Gareth Watkins is out for the Town though probably until the IHL games as he busted his foot in the warm-up to one of the Czech Republic games.
Pembroke 2 (Adam Pritchard, Maurice Elliott) Railway Union 2 (Peter English, Jeremy Duncan)
Ross Boreland had a senior debut to remember as he picked off a string of penalty corner stick-saves to go with one from Scott Furlong’s penalty stroke as Pembroke were left to rue not taking advantage of an under-par Railway Union performance.
Neat work from Keith Crawford and Craig Wilson earned the stroke early on, hitting a body on the line, but former Lisnagarvey second teamer Boreland – standing in for Stephen O’Keeffe who is currently completing part of his masters’ requirements in Africa – got down low to save with his legs. He kept out the majority of Pembroke’s seven corners but, on the follow-up, Adam Pritchard rebounded for the lead.
Peter English, however, had a 100pc record for the day as he nailed his only set-piece flick of the day – number 22 for the season. It was a first half in which Maurice Elliott took a ball to the head and was later diagnosed with concussion but he played on to score the second go-ahead goal. Tight to the baseline he fired in a reverse off the far post and in.
But Jeremy Duncan – as so often this season – provided a virtuoso goal, jinking through four players with sublime 3D skills before roofing on his reverse. Pembroke felt they had a strong case for a second stroke while another effort was pulled back as they popped in the goal for a corner instead, making for a frustrating day out. Alan Sothern remains a big miss for them with his knee injury.
YMCA 3 (Richie Pedreschi 2, Jonny Bruton) Fingal 3 (David Bane, Adrian Sweeney, Tom Manning)
Not quite mathematically safe, a late swing in fortunes both at Newpark and in UCD’s game served to make Fingal still need to be a little vigilant to kill off the students’ chances of catching them as they made it seven points from nine. But it could have been a third successive win only for two goals in the closing ten minutes from YM in a tie switched at the last minute. Initially, the tie was switched to Tuesday night as pitch availability was not forthcoming at regular home Alexandra College but a Fingal appeal was upheld, returning the fixture to Monday, necessitating the change in venue.
Richie Pedreschi got the Y up and running with the only goal of the first half but Fingal bounced back after the break as David Bane dragged home one, Adrian Sweeney netted the second with a touch to a right wing cross and Tom Manning finished off Sweeney’s square pass into an empty net. Their 3-1 lead, though, was vulnerable in the closing stages as Pedreschi picked off his second before Jonny Bruton got his 14th of the campaign when he finished off a cross from Marcus Richardson.
And it could have been even better for YM as they won a late corner and also lined up a dangerously positioned free-hit but Fingal scrambled clear. It leaves YM level with Railway in the race to avoid the IHL wildcard playoff with two rounds of matches to go.
Three Rock Rovers 2 (Garry Ringwood, Colin Huet) Clontarf 1 (Kevin Mullins)
With UCD nicking a point at the last elsewhere, Clontarf felt they came close to doing likewise only for a diving Stephen West to deny them. It could have garnered an unlikely draw after they spent much of the game on the back foot but had the fitness to push Rovers late on.
Stephen Cairns continued his fine form between the posts to keep out a series of Rovers’ attacks but it was his counterpart West who was most threatened when Tom Noonan was put through two-on-one from the 25.
The net-minder got down well, though, to smother the chance. Garry Ringwood’s straight hit from a corner gave the hosts the lead just prior to the break and Colin Huet’s second goal in two outings extended the advantage. It was a peach, play worked from the right baseline back and around the circle via four sticks before Huet slid in for a simple finish.
Rovers had two further efforts chalked off, Jody Hosking with a sumptuously hit reverse-stick volley – adjudged to have encroached within five metres of a defender when taking the ball down – while Ringwood’s cracked reverse was brought back for a penalty corner.
But Kevin Mullins gave the Bulls a lifeline with nine minutes left and there were chances to level, the best of which was popped high by Mullins for West to dive across and bat away to safety.
Launched in August 2007, The Hook has set out to provide news and information for hockey in Leinster. The site has developed since then to cover all levels of the sport in Ireland and beyond, providing stories on schools, club, interprovincial and international. Working in tandem with the superb Irish Hockey Photographers, The Hook aims to offer the best coverage of the sport in the province. Should you have any queries or suggestions, please email founder, Stephen Findlater, at firstname.lastname@example.org.