Promoted UCD and Inst push playoff sides close but secure no points on opening day

Men’s EY Hockey League – week one
Railway Union 2 (Peter Catchpole, David Mills) Glenanne 0

Debutants from Cork Peter Catchpole and David Mills helped Railway Union notch a 2-0 win over a short-handed Glenanne at Park Avenue. Railway took an early lead when Eoin MacArthur stole possession, setting up an attack for Catchpole to score from. It was the high point of a scrappy first half in which Richie Forrest also found the net but only after an earlier infringement which chalked off the strike.

Glenanne had the better of exchanges as time wore in, winning three corners in the third quarter but Railway pounced on the break with Rob Devlin setting up former Cork Harlequins’ man Mills to score in the third quarter.
Forrest went close to a third while Leo Micklem denied Matuesz Nowakowski with an excellent save. Glenanne pushed hard for the last eight minutes but could not get a lifeline in the tie.

Monkstown 3 (Lee Cole, Gareth Watkins, Karl Lynch) Cork C of I 0
Three first half goals set Monkstown up for a strong opening win of the campaign with former C of I man Karl Lynch on the mark against his formative club. Gareth Watkins served an early warning shot before the lively Davy Carson stole possession to win a corner via Andrew Ward. Lee Cole flicked the set piece into the corner.

Julian Dale did win a corner but Stephen Cole blocked John Jermyn’s flick from the Cork side’s best early chance. And the tie was put to bed in quick time when Stephen and David Cole broke forward before passing to Watkins to make it 2-0. The same creative team broke to assist Lynch’s goal for 3-0 at half-time.

Several chances came and went in the second half at both ends with Dale drawing a good stop from Max Maguire in the Town goal but no further goals meant Town start in strong fashion.

Banbridge 4 (Matthew Bell 2, Jamie Wright 2) Three Rock Rovers 2 (Mitch Darling, Luke Madeley)
Doubles from Matthew Bell and Jamie Wright saw Banbridge through a high octane tie at Havelock Park, a strong advertisement for the national league played at a fast-pace throughout. Rovers started fast with a numbers of early chances, Kyle Marshall clearing well before Bann got a foothold with chances for Hugh McShane, Jake Rowe and Eugene Magee.

Gareth Watkins celebrates making it 2-0 for Monkstown. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Gareth Watkins celebrates making it 2-0 for Monkstown. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Mark Samuel’s dangerous cross caused a few worrying moments for the hosts before Rovers took the lead in the 21st minute, the returning Olympian Mitch Darling scoring a corner rebound. Jonny McKee drew a great save from Jamie Carr while his counterpart Gareth Lennox did likewise from a three-on-one break as the narrow 1-0 gap stayed in place.

The third quarter saw the majority of the fireworks. Bell got Bann back on terms when he picked up his own rebound from his side’s first corner for 1-1. Wright then broke in from the left and found the net from a tight angle to swap the lead.

Luke Madeley drew the teams level from another corner when he beat the first runner and tucked away his shot. Bell, however, restored the lead to 3-2 from a drag-flick in the 53rd minute.
The final quarter was hectic with Bann seeing Matthew Allister and Fraser Mills both shown yellow cards as Rovers pushed for an equaliser. But Bann caught them on the hop as the excellent Wright deflection to McKee’s run and shot won the tie.

Lisnagarvey 3 (Andy Williamson, Neal Glassey, J Lorimer) UCD 2 (Iain Styles, Jazze Henry)
Reigning champions Lisnagarvey edged out promoted UCD 3-2 in Hillsborough in a tie much closer than envisaged prior to the tie. Garvey did start well but found Stephen Dawson in cracking form early on to repel any damage while Andy Williamson hit the post.

And UCD opened their EYHL account in the 14th minute from a corner off the back of their first break-out; Iain Styles netted with quick reactions to a rebound. Williamson levelled before half-time with a strong drag-flick into the right corner for 1-1.

The champions enjoyed their most accurate quarter just after the break with two quick goals on the 40th and 43rd minute. James Lorimer scored a corner before Neal Glassey who burst into the circle and rifled a low reverse stick shot into the net.

Alex Burns attempts to get away from Stephen Cole and Kyle Good. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Alex Burns attempts to get away from Stephen Cole and Kyle Good. Pic: Adrian Boehm

UCD were not done, however, and pulled one back with 10 minutes to go via Jazze Henry from a corner, ensuring a nervous final phase for the hosts but they held for a 3-2 win.

Pembroke 2 (Keith O’Hare, Alan Sothern) Instonians 1 (William Robinson)
First quarter goals from Keith O’Hare and Alan Sothern were just about enough for Pembroke to deny promoted Instonians though they rode their luck with a missed penalty stroke seven minutes from time keeping the points in tact.

After those two initial strikes, Sam Brown was called on to make a number of big stops but the second half saw a sea-change with Inst battling back into contention. Pembroke lost Patrick Good to a popped-hamstring to limit their options and Inst had a foothold in the tie from a short corner from William Robinson. It set up an exciting closing period with Inst pressing and Pembroke looking dangerous on the counter.

James Corry, however, saw his stroke denied by Mark Ingram as Pembroke rode their luck to survive as Robinson and David Quinn ended the game in the sin-bin on yellow cards.

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