Three-way tussle for men’s div two; Dublin Uni, Weston and Portrane through in IHC

Men’s Leinster Division Two/Irish Hockey Challenge round-up
As a result of Three Rock and Monkstown’s 2-2 draw, Pembroke took advantage to pick up two wins and move top of men’s Leinster division two in another twist in the title race.

They picked off a 5-1 win over Corinthian II on Saturday with five different scorers before beating Kilkenny 3-1 on Sunday on the road with new Dutch addition Philip Boss on the score sheet with Scott Furlong and Patrick Good.

Those two results put Pembroke three points clear of Rovers who have a game in hand while Monkstown can overhaul the two of them if they win their remaining six league games, the pivotal one currently set for February 28 against Pembroke.

Portrane’s Mukhtar Ahmed takes on Mullingar’s Tom Bowers Pic: Deryck Vincent (click image for full set of pics)

Clontarf had a much closer test from YMCA II from their first meeting of the season as 8-0 was reduced to 4-2. Indeed, the Bulls scored twice in the final five minutes to take the result after Kurt Hensburg’s double had the sides level deep into the second half.

Free-scoring Mullins brother Kevin and John (two) provided three of the goals with the more experienced John Lennon grabbing the other for Tarf but they look just too far off the pace for the overall title.

Fingal beat Railway Union II on a 5-3 scoreline for the second time this season, their first win in the league since beating the Park Avenue outfit way back in October as Eamon Bane and Shane Dempsey got a double each, moving them up to fifth place.

Elsewhere, in the Irish Hockey Challenge, Dublin University continue their bid for a trio of titles thanks to a 5-1 win in the quarter-finals of the competition.

Brothers Jonathan and Matthew Lewis accounted for four of the goals and they look to be clear favourites for this particular crown. Weston got a walkover from Ballymena on the Friday afternoon before their tie.

Portrane caused a surprise of sorts as the division five side beat Mullingar, from division three, 3-0 at ALSAA to move into the final four, too. Armagh are the one non-Leinster side in the semis after they shaded their tie with Naas.

Men’s Leinster Division Two, Saturday: Railway Union II 3 (K Chapple, P Baron, R Gonzalez) Fingal 5 (E Bane 2, S Dempsey 2, A Sweeney); Three Rock Rovers II 2 (E Buttanshaw, C Empey) Monkstown II 2 (G Sarratt, D Watkins); Pembroke II 5 (C Wilson, S Furlong, S Nolan, S Sullivan, G Shekleton) Corinthian II 1; YMCA II 2 (K Hensburg 2) Clontarf 4 (J Mullins 2, K Mullins, J Lennon)
Sunday: Kilkenny 1 (B du Preez) Pembroke II 3 (S Furlong, P Good, P Boss)

Irish Hockey Challenge, quarter-finals: Armagh 3 (C Kilpatrick, J Wright, M Grey) Naas 2 (D McCormack, F O’Byrne); Bray 1 Dublin University 5 (J Lewis 2, M Lewis 2, A Colton); Weston w/o Ballymena scr; Portrane 3 (C Neville, M Ahmed, P Conway) Mullingar 0

Men's Leinster Senior Div 2