Town win Railway shoot-out to edge closer to title

Men’s Leinster Division One
Monkstown moved a step closer to retaining the men’s Leinster Division One title as they scored the last three goals to see off a dogged Railway Union 6-3 at Park Avenue.

The result retains their four-point lead over Pembroke in the table with four rounds of games to go and pretty much guaranteeing them a place in next year’s expanded Irish Hockey League.

Mark English’s early penalty stroke was cancelled out by Gareth Watkins’ corner switch for 1-1 after 20 minutes, a situation that remained until the break. All hell broke loose, though, in the early stages of the second half as the score advanced to 3-3 inside 13 minutes as Lee Cole and Thomas Sonntag got Town in front only for Railway to reply via James Dick and Rob Abbott.

Andrew Ward restored the sky-blues lead for a third time with a contentious effort and Monkstown were finally able to hold on to this one, extending the margin through Davy Carson and Richard Sykes’ 66th minute corner.

Pembroke kept their interest in the title alive with a confident 3-1 win over UCD at Serpentine Avenue thanks to goals from Maurice Elliott, Nick Burns and Cillian Hynes.

Elliott got the first nine minutes before Burns scored from a corner early in the second half with a drag-flick while Hynes scored from a great counter-attack move. Ben Dobson got the UCD goal late in the game.

Three Rock Rovers moved into third place on their own due to Glenanne’s inaction – their Thursday game with Rathgar was snowed off – courtesy of a 2-0 derby win over Corinthian. Peter Blakeney scored his sixth goal in two games while Jonathan Roberts netted against his former club.

YMCA cruised to a 9-1 win over Avoca with their foreign legion doing the damage. Australian Thom Ritchie scored a treble while South Africans Dirk van der Spuy and Kurt Hensburg accounted for another three goals.

The win, recording the highest goal tally of the season, moves them into fifth place in the table, above Railway Union and within a point of the top four places.

Leinster Division One: Railway Union 3 (M English, J Dick, R Abbott) Monkstown 6 (G Watkins, A Ward, L Cole, D Carson, T Sonntag, R Sykes); Three Rock Rovers 2 (J Roberts, P Blakeney) Corinthian 0; YMCA 9 (T Ritchie 3, D van der Spuy 2, K Hensburg, R Devlin, B Campbell, G McCoy) Avoca 1 (J Byrnes); Pembroke 3 (M Elliott, N Burns, C Hynes) UCD 1 (B Dobson)

Men's Leinster Senior Div 1