Garvey race to EYHL title with comprehensive victory over Annadale

Men’s EY Hockey League – day 15 round-up
Annadale 2 (M Allister, M Robson) Lisnagarvey 7 (T Cockram 2, S Murray 2, N Glassey, A Williamson, D Buser)
Lisnagarvey’s imperious form in the EY Hockey League saw them race over the winning line in brilliant fashion, winning out 7-2 against near neighbours Annadale, claiming the inaugural regular season crown and a European spot to boot.

They tore into a 7-0 lead before bottom-placed side Dale got a couple of goals back but Garvey were already well into party mood at that stage. Daniel Buser opened the scoring in the 24th minute with a smart deflection to a crashed ball into the circle. Sean Murray added a second in the 29th minute with a strong reverse stick finish, capitalising on a mistake in the Dale defence.

Lisnagarvey's EYHL winning side. Pic: Paul Gleghorne/Instagram

Lisnagarvey’s EYHL winning side. Pic: Paul Gleghorne/Instagram

And the results was all but sealed in the third quarter. Timmy Cockram scored the third goal from short range and Andy Williamson scored from a corner against his former club in the 45th minute. The final quarter was frantic with Neal Glassey scoring the goal of the game with a reverse-stick effort into the roof of the net. Sean Murray’s fortunate sixth goal was added to by Cockram’s converted penalty stroke.

Matthew Allister knocked in a late corner rebound before Michael Robson added a brilliant reverse-stick shot but it was scant consolation for the Carryduff outfit. Garvey, meanwhile, take the title and will hope to add further to their trophy cabinet in a month’s time at the Champions Trophy playoffs.

Glenanne 0 Monkstown 0
Monkstown edged ever closer to a confirmed EY Champions Trophy spot as they shared the spoils at Glenanne Park with the hosts remaining in fifth place. Monkstown made the early initiative with Stephen Cole pulling the strings but the Glens’ defence was well organised by Joe Brennan and Stephen Brownlow – even with the absence of Sam O’Connor and Philip Byrne – to limit the visitors’ openings.

They were under pressure, however, and did require Clive Kennedy to clear off the line while Shannon Boucher charged down a corner with Lukasz Domachowski keeping out the second set piece.

The second half proved more even with Glenanne looking to counter and they won a corner which gave them hope, especially as Boucher had netted three times before this season against Town. The trap was incomplete but the follow-up chance fell to Boucher whose reverse-stick shot flashed across the face of goal.

Neal Glassey has played a key role for Garvey in their league success. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Neal Glassey has played a key role for Garvey in their league success. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Jonny Bruton went close while Domachowski kept out another chance or two before Stu Ronan took another Town chance off the line. The fourth quarter was intense but had little in the way of chances. Gary Shaw’s cross evaded his team mates from the pick of them but it was, nonetheless, a useful point for Glenanne in their playoff pursuit.

Cookstown 0 Banbridge 5 (S Dowds 3, R Beattie, M Bell)
Stephen Dowds’ hat trick moved Banbridge a big step closer to a place in the EY Champions Trophy playoffs, needing just one win from their three remaining games to assure their passage to the end of season finale where they will be hosts.

Dowds set them on their way in the fifth minute from a corner after a long airborne clearance picked out Josh Moffett’s excellent run to win the set piece. Early in the second quarter, he slotted another corner flick into the bottom right for 2-0. Cookstown grew more into the game as time went on with Stuart Smyth drawing a good save from Gareth Lennox while Mark Crooks rode a few tackles but, with the goal begging, his ball hit a Cookstown foot.

But the game was done and dusted in the third quarter. Matthew Bell had one disallowed in favour of a corner but the Co Down side were three up when Dowds, once again, nailed a drag-flick low to the keeper’s left. Soon after, Bell flicked in yet another set-piece for 4-0 in the 43rd minute.

Ross Beattie completed the rout after tight skills from Frazer Mills out wide led to a dink from the forward which somehow made it into the corner. Ryan Millar hit the upright for Cookstown in the closing stages, denying the Co Tyrone side a late goal but they were well beaten at that stage. Indeed, they conceded a late penalty stroke but Jonny McKee’s effort was denied by Ian Hughes.

Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn 2) Three Rock Rovers 2 (F Morris, D Walsh)
Three Rock Rovers and Cork C of I played out an entertaining draw at a grey but dry Garryduff. Four short corner goals were shared – two rebounds for Three Rock and two low John Jermyn drag flicks for C of I. The result keeps Rovers just about in the top four while C of I moved out of the relegation playoff place.

Three Rock opened the brighter and had three good chances in the first three minutes but Harry Morris and Ross Canning failed to capitalise. C of I forced their first corners in the 17th minute but the first was blocked by the first runner and the second was saved by Jamie Carr, leaving the scoreboard blank at half-time.

Banbridge's Stephen Dowds scored a hat trick in a big win over Cookstown. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Banbridge’s Stephen Dowds scored a hat trick in a big win over Cookstown. Pic: Adrian Boehm

The game came alight in the second minute of the second half when Three Rock won their first corner. The flick was saved by Billy Lynch but Fred Morris was on hand to slap in a rebound from the right. Three minutes later, Rovers got another corner, another rebound and another goal – this time from Daragh Walsh in the centre.

C of I then, energised with John Jermyn and Andrew Daunt setting up a number of spurned chances, got back on terms. An overhead from Jermyn found Julian Dale who won a corner for Jermyn to drag low and hard past Carr.

C of I raised the intensity again in the fourth quarter and kept Three Rock pinned back in their own half for long periods. A fine move led to a chance for Simon Wolfe but Carr smothered it wide. Pressure led to a series of long corners and, with three minutes remaining, Dale won another corner for John Jermyn to score low and hard again.

Railway Union 2 (J Dick 2) Pembroke 3 (A Sothern 2, H Spain)
Pembroke continue to creep up the table, moving into sixth place and within range of the playoff places for the first time this season as Alan Sothern’s double turned the tie in their favour. Railway raced out of the blocks as Richard Forrest and Donal O’Mearain combined to square for James Dick to deflect home.

Both sides had corner chances in a lively opening while Railway had a stroke originally awarded before it was downgraded to a corner. Mark Ingram denied the drag-flick from Mark English. In quarter two, Pembroke pushed on but wasted two corners before their third was nicely converted by Harry Spain after a nice behind the back slip pass by Sothern, making it 1-1 at half-time.

The third quarter was mad-cap but only yielded one more goal. David McCarthy took an audacious lob effort from Eric Foy off the line before Sothern made it 2-1 from Pembroke’s fifth corner. Dick and English went close while Railway could not convert from four more corner chances.

The sucker punch came in the closing quarter when Kirk Shimmins and Sothern combined with some sublime hockey with the latter coolly rounding off the move, rounding Stephen O’Keeffe. Mateusz Nowakowski rounded Ingram but could only shoot into the side-board but Dick did give Railway a chance when swept home a slick move. He then fired over as Pembroke held on for the win

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