Garvey winning run ended by Rovers; Town and Bann play out six-goal thriller

Men’s EY Hockey League – day four round-up
Railway Union 2 (M English 2) Cork C of I 6 (S Sweetnam 2, J Jermyn 2, J Dale, S Parker)
Cork C of I ran up another big scoreline on Railway Union, adding to their recent 8-1 demolition of UCD, to maintain their place in the top four of the EY Hockey League table.

They did so in spite of captain John Jermyn being shown a red card against a Railway side who welcomed back Fergal Keaveney and Mark English from Australia while Kenny Carroll also returned.

And the Park Avenue side opened brightly and had the best of the first 10 minutes, forcing two short corners without success. C of I came into the game in the later part of the first quarter and, from one of their attacks down the left flank, opened an opportunity for Stephen Sweetnam to score a reverse stick, latching on to a loose ball.

One became two in the second quarter from turnover ball with Stephen Parker slapping into the roof of the net. C of I were beginning to dominate in midfield and their pressure led to a penalty stroke, given for a deliberate back-stick in the circle, which Jermyn put away.

Railway did get one back with their first meaningful attack of the second quarter with English scoring a low drag-flick into the corner for 3-1 at the break. They got further into the tie in the third quarter with Richard Forrest’s left post shot going across the face of goal before English scored again from a corner.

English has a chance to level when one-on-one before the Cork side whisked the tie out of reach. They scored following a short corner save by Alex Henry – debuting in goal – with Jermyn finishing off after a neat reverse stick cross.

Philip Brownlow takes a tumble under pressure from Simon McKeever. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Philip Brownlow takes a tumble under pressure from Simon McKeever. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Moments later, the Olympian picked up his first yellow card for a bad tackle to break up a Railway attack. Nonetheless, C of I continued to push on and were 5-2 ahead via Sweetnam’s second goal, a low drag-flick.

Jermyn returned to the fray only to pick up another yellow card, and subsequent red, for another late tackle. But C of I continued to aggressively pounce on Railway loose ball, Julian Dale scoring on 66 minutes to complete the rout.

UCD 3 (J Duncan 2, A Keane) Instonians 2 (J Corry, M Irwin)
Jeremy Duncan inspired UCD to their first win since promotion to the EY Hockey League as they condemned fellow league newcomers Instonians to their fourth loss of the campaign. The Kilkenny native got his side in front with a lovely solo effort in the second quarter, picking up the ball on the left, travelling along the baseline before flicking into the roof of the net.

Ben Campbell deflected onto the post from a corner as Inst soaked up a lot of pressure but kept it at 1-0 by half-time. Duncan made it 2-0 when he took in a pass from Ziggy de Boe Agnew – who transferred from Monkstown in midweek to UCD – and reversed into the bottom corner.

It was 3-0 when Campbell picked out Aaron Bailey at the top of the circle and he slipped the ball to Andy Keane for his first EYHL goal – all three played last season with YMCA.

Inst summoned a big comeback in the closing quarter with James Corry getting one back with five minutes to go before Mark Irwin reduced the gap further but UCD were too far out in front to land their win.

Stephen Sweetnam celebrates a Cork C of I goal. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Stephen Sweetnam celebrates a Cork C of I goal. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Glenanne 1 (S Brownlow) Pembroke 2 (A Sothern 2)
Alan Sothern’s double provided Pembroke with an important win over a Glenanne side who welcomed back Shane O’Donoghue, Stephen Brownlow and Joe Brennan to the fold.

The win lifts Pembroke into the top half of the table when the Glens remain without a win from four games this term, falling to a third Leinster rival. The first quarter was a close-run affair with Glenanne holding much possession with Pembroke looking to counter.

From a broken down corner, the visitors saw a shot hit a body on the line and Sothern stepped up to convert from the penalty spot. A further exchange of corners yielded no dividend for either side.

Mick O’Connor – another player returning to action – almost unlocked the door for Maurice Elliott while Glenanne went close to levelling before the break. Glenanne came out second half with more purpose and managed to penetrate the Pembroke circle on numerous occasions with no outcome. Harry Spain was playing well in sweeper role for Pembroke.

However, Glenanne got a lifeline when they were awarded a stroke. David Keogh struck the post and Pembroke retained their lead. As Glenanne pushed for the equaliser, Pembroke looked dangerous on the counter attack and when Sothern got free at the top of the circle a tough challenge resulted in another stroke for the D4 side.

He scored from the spot for the second time. Glenanne pulled themselves back into the game soon after with a drag flick from Stephen Brownlow.

In the closing quarter, Glenanne were dominant as they looked to get back on terms while Pembroke saw a number of cards – Kirk Shimmins seeing a green and yellow in the last phases. Their pressure yielded a number of penalty corners all of which were blocked by Mark Ingram.

Railway's Richard Forrest sees a chance flash across the face of goal. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Railway’s Richard Forrest sees a chance flash across the face of goal. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Lisnagarvey 1 (S Murray) Three Rock Rovers 1 (C Empey)
Lisnagarvey’s long winning run in the EY Hockey League – encompassing 19 victories in the regular season and two games in the Champions Trophy – came to an end as they drew 1-1 with Three Rock Rovers.

It was tight throughout with few chances and the play being confined to the midfield quarter. A few half chances fell for both sides but no one was able to convert.

The match pattern continued with Jody Hosking missing the target after a good steal high up the pitch. James Milliken made two excellent saves from Three Rock short corners. Sean Murray also missed a great chance for Garvey with Daniel Nelson also having a couple of hard reverse strikes on goal.

Garvey had much more of the possession in the third quarter but struggled to fashion clear openings. The goalkeepers were rarely troubled with a dogged midfield battle.

The tie reached a higher tempo in the closing quarter with both sides pursuing the win. Conor Empey scored for the visitors with only four minutes left, putting Three Rock in a great position.

Garvey immediately pressed extremely hard and, with barely a minute remaining, Sean Murray popped up at the vital moment to score. Garvey also had a chance on the final hooter with another corner but it came to nothing.

Banbridge 3 (E Magee, J Wright, M Bell) Monkstown 3 (S Hyland, K Smith, K Good)
Banbridge came back three times from a goal deficit to draw 3-3 with Monkstown as they got back to the regular domestic business after their Euro Hockey League heroics a week ago.

The first half was a tetchy affair with plenty of niggle and some ragged hockey at times. Sam Hyland spun on a shot to give Town the lead, profiting from a mistake between the two Bann centre backs, but Eugene Magee levelled on the half-time when he flicked in from a penalty corner switch-flick.

The second half, meanwhile, was a glorious affair for the neutral with the game flowing from end to end and a series of beautiful goals. Indeed, there will not be too many better than Karl Smith’s effort for 2-1. Gareth Watkins’ first time round the corner pass set Andrew Ward galloping before he cut inside and laid on an enticing ball to Smith who dove at full stretch on his backhand to reverse home.

Bann should have been level but they made a mess of a chance, taking too long on a two-on-one with Max Maguire, allowing Nick Dee time to get back brilliantly and clear off the line. Jonny McKee and Jamie Wright’s interchange on the left baseline tied it up at 2-2 before Kyle Good’s master-blaster from the circle’s edge got Town back in front for a third time.

Bann kept pushing, though, and won a stroke with five minutes to go which Matthew Bell stepped up to convert for 3-3. Maguire saved a late Bann corner to preserve a point for Town. Both sides stay unbeaten with Monkstown’s perfect start to the season breached for the first time.

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