Men’s EY Hockey League – day 10 round-up
Three Rock Rovers 2 (J Hosking, B Walker) Banbridge 1 (J McKee)
Three Rock Rovers became the first side to beat Banbridge this season as they took advantage of an understrength visiting side to Grange Road. Crucially, Bann were without Matthew Bell who sustained an ankle injury in midweek while Fraser Mills broke a knuckle in training, too, to add to Owen Magee and Drew Carlisle’s absences.
Rovers took the lead inside three minutes when Ravin Nair’s ball into the circle where Jody Hosking got a slight touch off Gareth Lennox’s pads for an early advantage. Bann, for the most part, held more of the possession and territory but found many of their attacks stymied down the flanks by a compact Rovers defence.
When they did break in, they won plenty of corners but Jamie Carr produced a fine game in goals, keeping out Eugene Magee on a number of occasions.Rovers countered to go 2-0 up by the half-time break with an excellent team goal, working the ball from right to left where Conor Empey picked out Ben Walker who beautifully lifted the ball into the goal.
From there, the hosts were in strong shape for the most part until the closing ten minutes when Garry Ringwood was shown a yellow card. Within 13 seconds, Jonny McKee punished the indiscretion with a sweet action on the top of the circle before shooting home. Ross Canning and Eugene Magee were both shown yellow while Bann pushed forward in the closing stages, winning a number of corners – including one on the final hooter – but Carr kept them all out to preserve the home side’s win.
Cork C of I 4 (J Jermyn 2, A Power, S Wolfe) Monkstown 3 (R Sykes 2, D Carson)
Cork C of I and Monkstown served up an entertaining fare at Garryduff, winning 4-3 in this top table battle that brought them back into range of the table’s summit with John Jermyn netting his 13th and 14th goals of the season.
In a thrilling first quarter, the hosts took the lead when a powerful right-wing run and cross from Andrew Power was turned in by a Monkstown defender. Philip Brownlow had a second chalked off for crossing soon after before Richard Sykes got the first of his two goals from Town’s second corner in the 17th minute.
The relentless pace continued in the second quarter. C of I went back in front from their first corner – won by Simon Wolfe – with Jermyn flicking home. Monkstown hit back when they robbed possession on the 23m line and Davy Carson was on hand at the back post to knock the second equaliser.
But the hosts were in front for a third time before half-time from the stand-out moment of the game. Wolfe picked the ball up wide on the left and, thanks to a combination of great skills and even greater determination, he managed to force a shot under the on-rushing Max Maguire for a 3-2 lead.
The third quarter provided some room to take a breath with Monkstown surviving a spell down to nine players. They did fall further behind with 15 minutes to go when Jermyn making no mistake from another corner for 4-2. The tie was not dead yet, though, as former C of I man Jason Lynch won a corner which also drew a yellow card for Philip Smith.
Sykes beat Billy Lynch to reduce the deficit to the minimum and set up a big closing phase. Town had CI hemmed in their own 23 with Jermyn’s long aerials the sole release. The Dubliners had another corner on the final whistle but Sykes’ high flick was deflected away by Richard Sweetnam to safety. C of I stay in fourth while Town dropped to third after back to back defeats.
Glenanne 5 (S O’Donoghue 2, J Brennan 2, D Keogh) Railway Union 4 (M English, K Springett, P Catchpole, R Devlin)
Doubles from Shane O’Donoghue and Joe Brennan earned Glenanne what could be a vital win in their bid to avoid the relegation playoff as they beat Railway Union 5-4 in St Mark’s.
After a scoreless first quarter, the game exploded into life in the second phase. Mark English broke the deadlock, putting Railway Union in front with a powerful tomahawk from just beyond the penalty spot. Glenanne bounced back and were level thanks to a piece of O’Donoghue individual brilliance, unlocking the defence with a spectacular flick from a tight angle.
Brennan’s corner breakdown goal put the Glens 2-1 up at half-time. Kieran Springett levelled with a low drag-flick early in the second half but the hosts made the first major break after that. A corner shot hit a body on the line, giving O’Donoghue the chance to retake the lead from the flick spot. Almost instantly, a strong press on the right saw Railway turnover ball and, after some neat interplay, David Keogh popped in the circle to make it 4-2.
Peter Catchpole got Railway back into range with a fierce drive in the final quarter. Glenanne came close to killing the tie with two shots hitting the post while Stephen O’Keeffe saved a couple of corners. But, from a move that went awry, Brennan picked up the pieces and his low slap deflected into the goal for 5-3. Rob Devlin made things interesting with a late goal but Glenanne held on to move up to seventh in the table.
Instonians 2 (S Kelso, J Corry) Pembroke 3 (J Ryan, P Good, D Quinn)
David Quinn’s last minute goal gave a Pembroke side shy the services of Alan Sothern, Maurice Elliott and Kirk Shimmins all three points in a tie that could easily have swung the other way.
Indeed, it was a game for goalkeepers as both Sam Brown and Mark Ingram excelled in a scrappy, wide open tie. Within two minutes, Stephen Kelso gave Inst the lead following great work from Joel Cathcart. Spencer Pinion, Kelso and Mark Irwin went close to doubling the lead.
Pembroke sat deep and played an effective counter-attack game to test Brown and they swapped the lead in the second quarter. A long overhead out of defence was missed by an Inst defender and Jack Ryan stole in to lob over the goalkeeper on the half hour.
Four minutes later, Pembroke won a corner which, following four saves from brown, fell to Patrick Good who squeezed over the line. Inst replied well in the third quarter and, following a Cathcart run, won a corner which William Robinson dragged goalward. It was stopped by a leg on the line but James Corry popped home from the penalty spot.
The final quarter was frantic with the hosts winning corners but they could not breakthrough. And when they were reduced to 10 men for the last two minutes, Pembroke persevered. With the last strike of the ball, in a goal mouth scramble, Quinn forced the ball home to give Pembroke all three points.
UCD 0 Lisnagarvey 2 (R Getty, J Lorimer)
A goal in each half saw Lisnagarvey do the double over UCD, edging out a rejigged student side shy eight of their front-line players who were away on a college skiing trip. They were without their captain and talisman Jeremy Duncan as well as Jazze Henry, Ben McCrea, Greg Chambers, Stephen Dawson, Gavin Browne, Robert Browne and Andrew Keane.
Nonetheless, they gave a decent account of themselves in defence against the reigning national champions. Garvey started the better but found Ziggy Agnew and Ben Campbell holding firm at the back.
Ryan Getty, however, broke the deadlock from a counter-attack in the second quarter with Neal Glassey finding Ryan Getty unmarked at the back post. Garvey continued to hold most of the play in the second half with decent chances going a begging.
They did, however, move 2-0 up when James Lorimer dragged home down Conor Quinn’s right-hand side. Numerous corners came and went in the closing quarter as Garvey were content to hold possession to close out a win that lifts them back level with Banbridge on 20 points, sitting second only on goal difference.