Men’s Leinster division one
YMCA 1 (T Ritchie) Monkstown 2 (A Ward, J Henry)
Jazze Henry’s last minute strike saw Monkstown move within a point of retaining the Leinster men’s division one title as they nicked a 2-1 win over YMCA.
The St Andrew’s schoolboy broke past a couple of tackles before firing home on his backhand to give the Rathdown club a six-point buffer at the top of the table with two rounds of matches to play.
Andrew Ward gave them a fifth minute lead when he applied a good finish to Davy Carson’s shot. From the tip off, YM equalised quickly when Thom Ritchie picked up the ball and beat a defender in the D. His shot was saved by Jamie Carr but it rebounded back off his stick into the goal.
From there, YM had more possession until the break with Jamie Tobin, Andrew Meates and Ritchie going close. Monkstown were dominant in the second half and had the majority of the ball. Iain Walker made several saves in the first section of the second half alone, and had an outstanding game.
In the closing ten minutes, Tobin then had a good chance to put YM ahead after cutting infield past Richard Sykes on the 25 before dragging to the side of David Cole and hit a reverse which went very close over the top corner.
But Town kept pushing and while Walker made some more saves, with less than a minute to go, Henry picked up the ball on the 25, cut in past Aaron Bailey, beat Stephen Walker on the top of the D before reverse sweeping it past Walker into the goal.
Three Rock Rovers 1 (J Brennan) Railway Union 1 (K Carroll)
Both sides left Grange Road frustrated with a point that does not overly help their respective IHL cause. Indeed, Railway thought they had the tie won amid a dramatic series of four penalty corners on the final whistle, netting one but after huge celebrations, James Dick’s effort was ruled out in favour on another set piece.
Earlier, the visitors had plenty of ball in the first half with Stephen West making some top saves off the back of a full press while they won the corner count 3-1. Rovers, though, went ahead when Jonny Bruton produced some lovely skills before being taken out by Eoin MacArthur in the circle. Joe Brennan score the ensuing penalty stroke.
Three Rock had more of the ball in the second half, going close on a couple of occasions. Railway, though, had the clearer openings with Mark English drawing two more stops from West. Kenny Carroll scored from one of their eight second half corners – including the final series – with a straight drag-flick.
Then came the major drama. After the first corner was blocked and re-awarded, Mark English dinked the ball over West and Dick deflected home the flighted ball. While Railway celebrated, the umpires chalked the effort off, adjudging the ball to be dangerous but a third corner was given. This one hit a foot before the fourth one was saved West and scrambled away.
Rathgar 2 (J Willoughby, T Kirwan) Corinthian 1 (A Sutton)
Rathgar came from a goal down to beat Corinthian and record their second victory of the campaign as they bounced back from their mauling at the hands of Avoca a week earlier.
The reds took the lead 10 minutes in from a penalty corner via Andrew Sutton. They held that lead into the second half, which they started in the ascendancy, but were pegged back with 20 minutes to go when John Willoughby finished off from a tight angle.
The chiefs were reduced to nine men soon after during which time Dan Treacy was put through one-on-one but Dan Gribben made a great move to make sure he could not get a shot away.
Back to 11, Rathgar won a short from which Theo Kirwan – whose brother Jack debuted on the day – scored from the second phase with about seven minutes to go. They defended deep from their on to see out the win from a gritty battle.
Glenanne 5 (E Tucker 2, S Brownlow, P Gahan, C Kennedy) UCD 0
Glenanne moved closer to an IHL place with a comfortable 5-0 win over UCD. The first two goals came from their only short corners. A Sam O’Connor drag flick was touched onto the post by Conor Quinn with Enda Tucker on hand to push home. Stephen Brownlow scored direct from the second one.
Tucker got the third when O’Connor found him in the D and he reversed under Quinn. Serial assister O’Connor then laid on the fourth when his cross-come-shot was deflected in by Clive Kennedy and then the sweeper had another shot touched in by Paddy Gahan.
UCD had just a couple of chances, Lukasz Domachowski saving one with his helmet while O’Connor took one off the line in the second half. Sean O’Malley spurned a late opening against his former club.
Avoca 1 (R Couse) Pembroke 5 (H Spain 2, M O’Connor, K Lynch, P Shanahan)
Pembroke qualified for next season’s Irish Hockey League with two games to spare with a 5-1 win over Avoca and remain the only side who can possibly deny Monkstown the title.
Harry Spain gave them a great start with two corner goals before Richard Couse pulled one back on the stroke of half-time. Second half efforts from Mick O’Connor, Patrick Shanahan and Karl Lynch ensured a comfortable win, one which gets them over the line for a place in next season’s expanded Irish Hockey League.
Advantage Monkstown II in Leinster’s division two as they got the perfect set of results to aid their title push. They were handy 9-0 winners over YMCA II with David Watkins scoring four times.
And they got another favour from Clontarf after they got the better of Three Rock Rovers II 2-0 in Mount Temple. John Mullins got a lovely deflection to a crash ball from the left that pinged in at pace off the post 18 minutes into the game for the first goal.
Rovers’ best chances came from a number of corners but they did not execute the set pieces while Clontarf scored from one of theirs, injector John Lennon scoring a second phase effort after the ball spilled his way.
Dublin University, meanwhile, continued their fine season with a 4-0 win over Weston in the Irish Hockey Challenge to reach the final where they will play either Armagh or Portrane. They are also through to the Railway Cup semi-finals and likely to ease to the Division Three title.
Results: Clontarf 2 (J Mullins, J Lennon) Three Rock Rovers II 0; Monkstown II 9 (D Watkins 4, R Nichols 2, E Delobelle, G Cole, G Browne) YMCA II 0
Irish Hockey Challenge, semi-final: Weston 0 Dublin University 4 (C Stephens 2, A Simonin, M Lewis); Armagh vs Portrane abandoned