Bann the big winners as leading duo both drop points

Men’s EY Hockey League
Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn 2) Lisnagarvey 2 (A Williamson, J Lorimer)

Lisnagarvey came from behind to draw for the second week in succession as Cork C of I showed their title potential in a tense draw at Garryduff.

‘Garvey had won 21 straight EYHL games until Three Rock Rovers held them to a 1-1 tie last week, and the champions again failed to take maximum points against a fired-up C of I.

Andy Williamson’s strike gave the visitors a first-quarter lead but C of I talisman John Jermyn stepped up to turn the game on its head. The league’s top scorer lashed in a trademark drag-flick before netting a goal of the season contender from play, his fifth and sixth strikes of the campaign.

James Lorimer tied it up again for Lisnagarvey just before the break however, and that’s how it stayed with ‘Garvey now sharing the lead with Bann and C of I a point further back in third.

Pembroke Wanderers 0 Banbridge 2 (M Bell, J McKee)

Banbridge reproduced the form that saw them qualify for the last 16 of the EuroHockey League as they dominated Pembroke from start to finish to move into a share of the lead at the top of the table.

Their midfield overran a Pembroke side missing their Olympian Alan Sothern and Paddy Good, and got a reward at the end of the first quarter when Matthew Bell’s drag flick beat Mark Ingram.

The Pembroke netminder was certainly the busier keeper and a number of interventions from him as well as his corner defence as Bann’s high press yielded a plethora of opportunities.

The hosts had one breakout opportunity but a hopeful cross eluded Craig Wilson and with Mossy Elliott and Kirk Shimmins both spending time in the sin-bin, Bann pressed for an insurance goal which finally came through Johnny McKee’s bash from the top of the circle in the 60th minute.

Monkstown 0 Three Rock Rovers 3 (R Canning, K Mullins, C Empey)
Three Rock’s late smash-and-grab raid consigned Monkstown to a disappointing first defeat of the campaign at Rathdown.

The youthful visitors went in front via the penalty spot as Ross Canning punished Lee Cole’s mistimed tackle having held sway for the guts of the first half, but Monkstown took hold of the tie thereafter.

They saw two goals chalked off as Kyle Good crashed in a reverse from just outside the circle and Davy Carson’s effort was ruled out for an earlier foot in the build-up. Gareth Watkins was then fouled by Jamie Carr for a penalty stroke opportunity but the Rovers netminder made amends by saving Watkins’ effort.

The hosts poured forward in search of an equaliser as the second half wore on and Rovers caught them on the break, a pass from midfield finding Kevin Mullins all alone in the circle and he made no mistake.

Monkstown removed their goalkeeper in search of a late miracle but the gamble didn’t pay off as Rovers countered and Conor Empey was able to finish into an empty net for his second goal in as many weeks.

UCD 4 (J Duncan 2, A Keane, G Chambers) Railway Union 3 (M English 2, S McKeever)

Newly-promoted UCD chalked up their second win of the campaign as Railway Union’s woes continued at Belfield. This victory was more comfortable than the scoreline suggested as the students built a four-goal lead before Railway staged a frantic comeback in the final five minutes.

Jeremy Duncan hit the baseline and eliminated the goalkeeper before flicking home for UCD’s first, and their second came about from a similar source. This time it was Greg Chambers who got in behind the Railway defence and squared from the baseline for Andy Keane to finish.

Duncan finished off a one-two with David Nolan for a 3-0 half-time lead and Nolan then setup Cork native Chambers for the fourth.

Mark English’s solo effort in a tight space in the circle sparked a Railway comeback with five minutes left as he bagged another and Simon McKeever scored to make UCD sweat, but they held on to take all three points.

Instonians 1 (W Robinson) Glenanne 1 (S O’Donoghue)

Instonians got off the mark in the EYHL but this draw did neither side many favours as they remain marooned in the bottom two.

Inst had the best chanced of the first half, Leo Micklem palming away a William Robinson effort before Mark Irwin struck the bar with the Glenanne netminder beaten.

James Corry send John Wilson clear for a gilt-edged chance in the third quarter but he couldn’t break the deadlock, and Glens struck somewhat against the run of play as their Olympian Shane O’Donoghue slung home a drag-flick on 48 minutes.

The hosts weren’t to be denied a share of the spoils as Robinson flicked in a corner with three minutes to go, but they missed some late chances to win the game and Glens will be the happier side with a hard-earned point on the road.

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