Instonians won the big Ulster Premier League clash on Saturday as they avenged their recent Kirk Cup defeat by Civil Service to record a comfortable 4-1 win at Shaw’s Bridge, writes John Flack.
Ben Palmer hit the opener in the fourth minute and Ross McKnight added a second shortly afterwards before skipper William Robinson added a third from a penalty-corner.
Service forced three set-pieces of their own before half-time but a heavy pitch didn’t help their routine and they only managed one shot on target as Sam Brown saved from Chris Barnes.
McKnight had a shot saved early in the second-half when he made space for himself before firing in a backhand effort.
Palmer got his second of the match in the 50th minute when he scored from close-range to make it 4-0 after a flowing move.
Instonians then took their foot off the gas, knowing that the points were safely in the bag, and Service enjoyed plenty of possession in the final quarter of the game.
After Brown had been forced into a couple of smart saves, Barnes pulled one back with five minutes left when he tapped the ball home from a few feet out following a left wing delivery.
The former Instonian, who once scored 55 goals in a season with the south Belfast club, had a chance to double his tally in the last minute.
Service were awarded a penalty-stroke for ‘feet’ in the circle but Brown made a decent save to deny Barnes and his team a second goal
Bangor meanwhile racked up their second win as goals from Ryan Burgess, Simon Cox and Dave McClune gave then a 3-0 success over Mossley.
Gareth Russell’s hat-trick helped Kilkeel to a 7-0 win over Queen’s while there were also victories for Antrim, North Down and South Antrim.
With the Under 16 and 18 inter-pros taking pride of place there was just the one game in the women’s Ulster Premier League as Dungannon defeated Portadown 4-1.
Karen Elliott, Jill Elliott, Ruth Bell and Laura Wilson scored for the home team with Leanne Cassels replying for the Ports as Dungannon moved ahead of Ballymoney on goal difference at the top of the table.
In Senior One, Rebekah Reynolds hit a hat-trick as Ballymena overcame Omagh 4-2, and Emily Cutrona scored the winner as Victorians beat Armagh 2-1 despite having a player red-carded in the first-half.
Priorians continued their impressive start on their return to Ulster hockey’s second-tier as Sarah Black grabbed the only goal of the game against CI.
Men’s Ulster Premier League: Antrim 6 (D Wilson 2, J McMeekin 2, E Creighton, R McCrea) Cliftonville 0; Bangor 3 (R Burgess, S Cox, D McClune) Mossley 0; Kilkeel 7 (G Russell 3, J Finlay, D Finlay, J Aiken, R Cunningham) Queen’s 0; Portadown 1 (A Stevenson) North Down 4 (J Gilmore 2, G McKeown, M Nicholls); South Antrim 4 (C Henry 2, A Glass, W Phillips) Harlequins 2 (L McClelland, R Quigley); Instonians 4 (B Palmer 2, R McKnight, W Robinson) Civil Service 1 (C Barnes); Newry v Raphoe postponed.
Women’s Ulster Premier League: Dungannon 4 (K Elliott, J Elliott, R Bell, L White) Portadown 1 (L Cassels)
Senior One: Armagh 1 (A Dunne) Victorians 2 (D Curry, E Cutrona); Ballymena 4 (R Reynolds 3, E Clarke) Omagh 2 (A Nethery 2); CI 0 Priorians 1 (S Black).