Glens make statement with comeback win over Rovers

Men’s EY Hockey League
Glenanne produced a superb comeback to suggest they could be a dark horse for title contention as they came from 2-0 down to beat EY Champions Trophy holders Three Rock Rovers 3-2 at Grange Road. It made it three wins from three for the Glens who head the table at this early stage with three sides three points back on six points.

Pembroke Wanderers 3 (A Sothern 2, N Burns) Lisnagarvey 6 (A Williamson 3, S Murray 2, M Nelson)
Three goals in eight second-half minutes – along with two in the last two – saw Lisnagarvey eventually race out of range of Pembroke at Serpentine Avenue in a nine-goal battle. The win keeps Garvey’s unbeaten run going while Pembroke lost for the first time.

Alan Sothern started the scoring in the third minute from play – his fifth of the season – before Sean Murray equalised two minutes later. Sothern restored the Pembroke lead early in the second half from a corner, making it two goals from him in each game this season.

Andy Williamson’s diving deflection tied the game at 2-2 in the 50th minute and Murray had Garvey in front soon after. Moments later, Matthew Nelson completed the run of three goals in quick succession following a mazy run and a reverse into the corner.

Nick Burns snapped up a corner rebound for 4-3 with six minutes to go but when Pembroke removed their goalkeeper in search of a leveller, Williamson prospered with two goals in the closing few minutes for a 6-3 win.

Three Rock Rovers 2 (P Blakeney, B Walker) Glenanne 3 (E O’Malley 2, R Couse)
Glenanne came from 2-0 down to beat Three Rock Rovers 3-2 at Grange Road, confirming they could well be contenders this season in the men’s EY Hockey League. Shane O’Donoghue fired the first shot in earnest, one which Harry MacMahon saved excellent off the line. Harry Morris, meanwhile, was set through one-on-one and chipped over Iain Walker only for David Keogh to clear off the line.

Peter Blakeney slapped home on his own openside for 1-0 in the 20th minute and Rovers went two up with a beautiful touch on the baseline five minutes later.

Glenanne, though, did have plenty of first-half chances, drawing some top stops from Conor Quinn and they were on the board before half-time via Eddie O’Malley, the shot going in off Quinn’s helmet.

The sides traded corners in the third quarter with O’Malley levelling the game in the 46th minute from a corner move, getting a touch to Shane O’Donoghue’s drag for 2-2. And Richard Couse won the game three minutes later with a stunning lofted strike from Gary Shaw’s assist.

Rovers threw everything forward for the closing quarter with Richard Pautz and Jody Hosking going close before the Glens had a chance to make the tie safe from a couple of corners but it was not required as they landed their third single-goal win in succession.

Banbridge 4 (Philip Brown 3, D Ward) Annadale 0
Philip Brown’s hat-trick of corners eventually put the game to bed as Banbridge recorded their second 4-0 win of the men’s EY Hockey League season, turning a 1-0 third quarter time lead into a comfortable-looking result.

Peter Caruth skimmed the crossbar with the pick of the first quarter attacks while Bann saw Eugene Magee – in his first appearance of the season – almost make an instant impact. The Havelock Park hosts were running up the corners already and they netted from their sixth corner with Brown flicking high into the net.

Magee had a second chalked off in favour of a corner whistled for while he was in the act of scoring while Johnny Moore also made some great saves to keep the gap at the minimum at half-time.

As time wore on, Bann’s corner count rose to double figures with Brown eventually putting two in the difference in the closing quarter. He completed his hat trick into an empty net as Dale withdrew their goalkeeper before Dane Ward tapped home in the final minute for the fourth as the keeper-gamble backfired.

Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn, S Miller) Cookstown 1 (A Barbour)
Cork C of I recorded their first win of the campaign, condemning Cookstown to a third successive narrow defeat in the men’s EY Hockey League since their promotion. After a trio of corner shots from Julian Dale were repelled, John Jermyn stepped up in the 51st minute when he whipped home. Stuart Miller extended the lead with 15 minutes to go and C of I went close to a clinching third goal via Alex Burns but he was twice denied by Josh McCabe.

The Cork side have twice been caught in the closing minutes already this season and worries arose this may happen again when Andy Barbour pulled one back with five minutes to go and a couple of corners came for the Co Tyrone side but C of I held on for the win.

Railway Union 0 Monkstown 2 (K Smith, D Carson)
Goals from Karl Smith and Davy Carson saw Monkstown beat Railway Union 2-0, getting their first win of the season while Railway await the first points and goals of their campaign.

Smith opened the scoring just a couple of minutes in following an overload down the left wing, deflecting in from a ball across the circle. It remained that way until half-time with both sides having half chances.

Town upped the tempo in the second half, winning a number of corners but they had a greater degree of comfort when Carson latched onto a loose ball, created when a clearance from Stephen O’Keeffe hit a defender and fell to the striker.

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