Railway Union put their best foot forward in the race for Irish Hockey League places as they ran up a 7-1 win over Rathgar on Saturday afternoon, applying plenty of pressure on Glenanne’s final two games of the Leinster men’s division one season.Rob Abbott fired a hat trick to bring his seasonal tally to 17 goals while Peter English shot a double. It means that Railway end their regular season on 27 points with Glenanne four points back on 23. It means they need to beat YMCA in midweek before facing Three Rock Rovers on a date that is still to be decided.
That result on Saturday ruled out Corinthian from the top five places but they did run up a 4-2 win over Fingal on Sunday in ALSAA with Ian Stewart scoring a pair on a busy weekend in which he also lined out for the Leinster Under-21s.
The reds led 1-0 at half-time before Chris Neville equalised early in the second half with Conor Wheeler the creator. Matt Brown whipped in an emphatic flick from Matt Brown from a contested corner to restore the lead before killing off the game with a goal while Fingal were down to nine players.
Neville did get one back while Corinthian completed the scoring. It leaves Fingal’s regular season finished on four points and vulnerable if Rathgar are able to pick up something from their game against Three Rock on Tuesday evening.
In division two, Pembroke II moved another big step closer to winning the title as they saw off Kilkenny – without the suspended Derek O’Gorman – 4-1. Goals from Patrick Good, David Molloy and David Quinn had them soaring at half-time. While Kilkenny got one back early in the second half via Brian Gray – who would later pick up a wealth of stitches following a collision with Pete Priestly – Scott Furlong killed off the game in the second half with a corner flick.
YMCA II assured their safety with a 5-1 win over Weston who now have just one game left to have a chance of avoiding the drop. Their fine run of form has seen them double their points tally in the past five games and clear of danger after spending Christmas in the relegation zone. They could now potentially finish fourth.
In the Irish Hockey Trophy, Avoca set up a quarter-final date with Ulster’s Senior One champions Newry with a 4-0 win over Dublin University. An own goal and a Kevin Mellott corner put them 2-0 up at half-time before a second Mellott set piece goal and one from Andrew Ramsay – when Trinity had pulled their goalkeeper – closed out a 4-0 success.
In the Challenge, div five’s Bray saw off division three opposition in the form of Mullingar on penalties to reach the semi-finals. Naas could join them in a fortnight’s time when they meet Limerick.
Men’s Leinster Division One
Saturday: Rathgar 1 (M McNulty) Railway Union 7 (R Abbott 3, P English 2, J Morton, own goal)
Sunday: Fingal 2 (C Neville 2) Corinthian 4 (I Stewart 2, J Lewis, M Brown)
Division Two: Weston 1 (C Cole) YMCA II 5 (D Swanepoel, A Meates, P O’Connor, G Harris, W Armstrong); Kilkenny 1 Pembroke II 4 (P Good, D Molloy, D Quinn, S Furlong)
Irish Hockey Trophy, second round: Dublin Uni 0 Avoca 4 (K Mellott 2, A Ramsay, own goal)
Irish Hockey Challenge, quarter-finals: Bray 3 Mullingar 3, Bray win 3-1 on strokes; Portrush 5 (C McKeeman, G Christie, J Dillon, P Linton, L Smith) Ballymena 1 (A Shields); Parkview 4 Armagh 5