Browne and O’Connor nick last ditch draws for UCD and Glenanne

Men’s EY Hockey League – day two
UCD 3 (Ben Campbell, Ben McCrea, Rob Browne) Three Rock Rovers 3 (Luke Madeley, Ross Canning, Kevin Mullins)

Rob Browne slid in an equaliser with just a few minutes remaining to earn UCD their – and Three Rock’s – first point of the campaign from a helter-skelter battle at Belfield. Indeed, the score could have been even more dramatic if either side had a higher corner conversion rate with both sides running up plenty of set piece chances.

Luke Madeley whipped in an early one for Rovers before Ross Canning scored from the penalty spot when Harry Morris was felled after a pitch-length counter, making it 2-0. Kevin Mullins snatched at a chance for a third but UCD were more than competitive and bossed the next 20 minutes. Ben Campbell, on the switch, swept in a corner and Ben McCrea pushed in for 2-2 by the break during that spell on top.

Rovers were much more assured in the second half with more control on the play but were profligate going forward until Mullins scored a very assured goal on his backhand. Once behind, UCD made the running once again and got the leveller when a right wing cross went untouched through a crowded circle where Browne ghosted in to finish off. Rovers had two more corners on the whistle but both were charged down to safety.

Railway Union 0 Lisnagarvey 7 (James Lorimer 2, Matthew Nelson, Daniel Nelson, Peter MacDonnell, Daniel Buser, Andy Williamson)
Lisnagarvey blitzed Railway Union for five goals in the first half to sweep to a huge 7-0 win at Park Avenue, making it the perfect weekend for the reigning champions. A short corner drag flick from James Lorimer midway through the second quarter set them on their way before Matthew Nelson slotted home a chance from play.

Lorimer added a second in the second quarter while Peter MacDonnell follow-up from another set piece for a 4-0 advantage. Daniel Nelson’s outstanding reverse-stick goal put the game all but out of sight. Daniel Buser and Andy Williamson closed out the victory after the big break.

Instonians 1 (William Robinson) Monkstown 3 (Davy Carson, David Cole, Karl Smith)
Monkstown recorded back-to-back wins to sit top with Lisnagarvey after the first weekend of the season on six points as, like Saturday, they scored early goals and never really looked back.

Davy Carson nicked in for the opener inside five minutes with a clever finish as they forced Inst to sit deep for the most part, limiting their chances to counter-attacks. David Cole made it 2-0 from a corner rebound in the 32nd minute to extend the advantage, beating the otherwise impressive Sam Brown.

Mitch Darling sees his shot blocked by David Nolan. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Mitch Darling sees his shot blocked by David Nolan. Pic: Adrian Boehm

William Robinson pulled one back after half-time – his second of the weekend – but Karl Smith secured the points with five minutes to go. Town broke out of a full press to find Smith at the head of the circle. He unleashed an absolute rocket over Brown’s head into the roof of the net.

Glenanne 2 (Gary Shaw, Sam O’Connor) Banbridge 2 (Eugene Magee, Sam Farson)
Sam O’Connor’s last ditch goal saw Glenanne nick a point at home against Banbridge, denying the Co Down side a victory with one of the last touches of the game. Sam Farson had opened the scoring from Bann’s first circle penetration, finishing off from a clinical baseline pull-back.

It remained that way into the break before Gary Shaw scored a typically spectacular goal to level, beating a few players before picking out the corner on the reverse. Eugene Magee responded quickly with a spin-move from a corner to give the visitors the advantage going into the closing stages as Glenanne suffered three cards for dissent. But the Tallaght side won a late corner which was worked to Sam O’Connor to calmly slot home.

Cork C of I 3 (J Jermyn, P Sweetnam, J Dale) Pembroke 0
A large crowd turned out in sunny conditions to Garryduff to see three Olympians back in action on home turf. They were entertained by Shimmins’s mazy runs, Jermyn’s 70 metre overheads and Sothern’s high presses as Cork C of I ran out as comprehensive 3-0 winners.

The game started at a frenetic pace with Cork C of I setting the pattern for the day with fast passing movements that stretched Pembroke in all directions. Their pressure drew a number of chances which Mark Ingram in the Pembroke goal had to be at his best to keep out including one corner save from a Jermyn drag flick.

Ingram was kept busy as C of I broke the Pembroke defence on a number of occasions. Eventually, in the 20th minute, after a long passing movement the ball fell to John Jermyn who made no mistake from the edge of the D. It was a lead they held until half-time. C of I continued to dominate and gained two corners in the third quarter, Ingram making a fine save from Jermyn and also dealt with a Stephen Sweetnam effort.

In the 48th minute, the move of the match saw Philip Sweetnam make a super run into the left side of the circle, jink, twist, turn and shoot an unstoppable low shot into the right corner to make it 2-0 at three-quarter time.

Pembroke upped their pace and Kirk Shimmins entertained us as he had at Rio with mazy runs and insightful passes into the C of I circle but the Cork C of I defence were able to mop up any loose ends and it was only in the 60th minute that Shimmins got Pembroke’s only shot on goal. Julian Dale grabbed their third after another fine passing movement up the pitch to close out the win.

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