UCD confirmed a second successive top four finish in men’s Leinster division one, equalling their best ever finish in the provincial league with a 4-3 Thursday night win at Glenanne.
Former Glens man Shane O’Donoghue was their destroyer in chief as he fired a hat-trick to counteract as double from Clive Kennedy and yet another goal from Gary Shaw.O’Donoghue’s upright reverse won the shoot-out late for a result that leaves Glenanne in a serious battle to earn a top five berth with Railway Union and 2014/15 IHL qualification.
Ross Canning got the students – who were run surprisingly close by Trinity in midweek at the annual colours event, 3-2 – up and running when he counter-attacked and, despite being tackled, the ball fell back to him to push home.
Kennedy levelled with a glancing touch to a Gary Shaw big bash. Despite some big chances for UCD – one of which saw Gareth Carragher save well from Canning – the hosts hit the front on the stroke of half-time as Richie Shaw had time one the baseline to pick out Kennedy for his side’s second goal.
Nick Burns fired over from close range from a great chance to level soon after the break but his side did not have to wait long to be back on terms as O’Donoghue flicked high on the glove side for 2-2.
Another corner swapped the lead before Conor Quinn became a busy man, keeping out a quartet of corners. Richie Shaw once again worked the baseline well to find brother Gary to level at 3-3 but they succumbed to O’Donoghue’s last ditch effort for a key win to end their league campaign.
Next on Glenanne’s agenda is another Thursday night date, lining out against YMCA at Milltown. It leaves just one game on the Leinster men’s roster Saturday with Railway taking on Rathgar at 12.30pm in High School.
A win for Railway would give them a four-point buffer at the end of their regular season campaign over Glenanne in fifth place with the Tallaght side still to play two games. Should the Dublin 4 side complete that win, it would end Corinthian’s chances of reaching the IHL again in 2014/15. They play Fingal on Sunday in ALSAA.
Dublin University will hope to build on their encouraging midweek performance at Colours when they line out against Avoca in their refixed Irish Hockey Trophy second round date as the two sides spy a quarter-final berth against Newry.
The game has been moved from Grange Road to Wesley College due to the U-21 interpros. With a couple of further postponements in division two, there are just two games left on the table.
Pembroke II can stretch their advantage to seven points at the top should they see off Kilkenny, a result that would mean they only need a draw from their date with Avoca on February 15.
Weston, meanwhile, face a do-or-die clash with YMCA II who have experienced a strong upsurge in form since Christmas.
Men’s Leinster Division One: Glenanne 3 (Clive Kennedy 2, Gary Shaw) UCD 4 (Shane O’Donoghue 3, Ross Canning)
Saturday: Rathgar vs Railway Union, 12.30pm, High School
Sunday: Fingal vs Corinthian, 1pm, ALSAA
Tuesday: Rathgar vs Three Rock Rovers, TBC, High School
Thursday: YMCA vs Glenanne, 8.15pm, Milltown
Irish Hockey Trophy: Dublin University vs Avoca, 3.30pm, Wesley College
Leinster Division Two: Kilkenny vs Pembroke II, 1pm, Kilkenny College; Weston vs YMCA II, 1pm, Griffeen Valley Park