Glens strengthen position as Cookstown stun Garvey

Men’s EY Hockey League – day six round-up
Saturday: Railway Union 0 Glenanne 2 (S Brownlow, S O’Donoghue)

Glenanne strengthened their position at the top of the men’s Hockey League as they fought off Railway Union at Park Avenue in a tie of plenty of chances but saw both Stephen O’Keeffe and Iain Walker make multiple saves.

The Glens had two in the first two minutes, O’Keeffe denying Shane O’Donoghue and Gary Shaw hitting the post. Railway then had Simon McKeever in one-on-one while a top advantage from umpire Graham Hohn led to Eoin MacArthur thrashing a shot just wide.

The second quarter was more structured, sitting in the handball phase for spells. Walker denied Will Fernandez on the slide with his face mask. Mark English was a classy performer throughout for Railway in a withdrawn role but he did get forward to smack an effort into the side of the goal before Glenanne closed out the first half with a trio of corners that O’Keeffe kept out.

The Glens continued their run of corners with Stephen Brownlow taking on the shooting duties two minutes into the second half, a heavily deflected push that clipped a leg which wrong-footed the Railway keeper.

Brownlow hit the post from another corner while Kenny Carroll took an O’Donoghue drag off the line. O’Donoghue did get his goal with a rocket to the top of the net in the 53rd minute. Railway, meanwhile, had several corners but none looked overly dangerous and Glenanne had their fifth win from six outings to date.
Lisnagarvey 2 (N Glassey, J Bell) Cookstown 2 (S McCabe, S Smyth)
Cookstown ended Lisnagarvey’s perfect start to the men’s EY Hockey League season as Scott McCabe’s deflection deceived James Milliken to earn a share of the spoils.

“It is great to get a result like this, particularly against a team like Lisnagarvey who are riding the crest of a wave at the moment,” said Cookstown captain Jon Ames. “Hopefully we can use this in a positive manner; to keep improving and driving us on at training and in the matches to come.

Glenanne celebrate their opening goal against Railway Union. Pic: Adrian Boehm

“We got a bit of luck for the first goal, but I think the most positive thing is that we were able to stamp our style on a great deal of the match and kept playing despite going behind.”

Both sides probed in quarter one and it took a bit of individual skill to break the deadlock. Ireland international Johnny Bell was allowed the space to advance into the circle and showed great poise down the bye line as he employed a deft reverse to slide the ball under the advancing Josh McCabe in the Cookstown goal.

The reds responded positively with some fine two-touch hockey before Garvey won a series of short corners. Ames was out quick to block twice and the excellent Josh McCabe also saved superbly from a James Lorimer flick to keep it at 1-0 at the short whistle.

Cookstown got back on terms in the second half when Stu Smyth picked up the ball inside the circle and rolled his defender. Spotting Greg Allen at the back post, he passed the ball in his direction, drawing out the Garvey keeper. Fortune favoured the attacking side as both men missed the ball and it trickled over the line for 1-1.

Garvey stormed back into it, playing the ball with great pace and accuracy and forcing the Reds to chase. They were rewarded with the lead: Neal Glassey danced through the defence before slotting a reverse into the bottom corner.

It came during their best spell of hockey but they could not add further goals as Cookstown hung in the tie and got their leveller when Godfrey Irwin picked out Scott McCabe’s run with a beautiful 40 yard pass. McCabe’s first time deflection flew into the goal.

His twin brother, Josh, was called into action throughout the last ten minutes as the home side threw everything forward and he made a number of top-class saves, securing the draw.

Banbridge 1 (N Gilmore) Three Rock Rovers 4 (J Mullins, M Darling, R Canning, B Walker)
Three Rock Rovers recorded a rare win at Havelock Park as their 4-1 win over Banbridge continued the Co Down side’s tough run, a third loss in succession in the men’s EYHL.

Both sides were shy some key men with Eugene Magee, Owen Magee and Jonny McKee all out for Bann while Jody Hosking, Richard Pautz, David Kane and James Walker – out until January – were out for Rovers. On the flip side, Irish Under-21 John Mullins made his Rovers’ debut .

Three Rock started well, moving the ball at pace and winning three corners which Gareth Lennox dealt with before Bann got a foothold.

During that time, the hosts won a corner and a double switch fell to Neil Gilmore to thump home via deflection for 1-0. Against the run of play, Rovers got back on terms from a melee with Kevin Mullins the scorer. Lennox made a blockbuster save to deny Luke Madeley from pc4 before Rovers went in front via Mitch Darling – though Bann argued it hit a foot in the build-up.

The hosts bossed the early stages of the second half with the key moment coming when Jamie Wright won a corner which was upgraded to a stroke when it hit a body on the line. Jamie Carr, though, saved from Philip Brown in one of his first acts of the season having coming on at half-time for his first appearance since the Euro Under-21s.

Rovers took full advantage of the reprieve with Ross Canning slotting home from the top of the circle in the 54th minute for 3-1. Ben Walker then deflected in a corner for the fourth.

Monkstown 3 (G Sarratt 2, A Ward) Cork C of I 2 (P Brownlow, J Jermyn)
Three third quarter goals saw Monkstown produce a stunning comeback win over Cork C of I, coming from 2-0 down to prevail 3-2 at the Merrion Fleet Arena. Julian Dale’s trickery paved the way for the opening goal as he ran the Town defence and, amid a mix-up, the ball fell to Phil Brownlow to finish off from close range.

John Jermyn doubled the lead when he dragged home a corner in the 30th minute, making it 2-0 to the visitors at half-time. Guy Sarratt started the comeback early in the second half with a corner drag of his own and he levelled the game from the penalty spot – awarded after a body was hit on the line at corner time.

Cookstown goalkeeper Josh McCabe made several saves. Pic: Alan Donnelly (click for more images)

And the winner came with their third goal in a 13 minute spell, Karl Lynch finding Ross Quirke who then picked out Andrew Ward for the winner. Dave Fitzgerald kept out a CI corner late on to preserve Town’s three points.

Annadale 0 Pembroke 3 (A Sothern 2, Shimmins)
Alan Sothern made it five goals in a week as his double kept Pembroke rolling in fourth place in the men’s EY Hockey League with Annadale staying in ninth following their 3-0 defeat at Strathearn.

He started the scoring in the seventh minute with a volley and despite a couple of suspensions for Patrick Shanahan – green and yellow – they moved further ahead with 20 minutes to go via Kirk Shimmins. Sothern completed the victory with 15 minutes left.

Sunday: Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn, A Moffett) Railway Union 0
Cork C of I bounced back from their Saturday defeat to rise back up to sixth place in the men’s EY Hockey League, leaving Railway Union somewhat adrift at the end of the weekend’s action.

John Jermyn scored his second goal of the weekend from a fifth minute penalty corner for a lead they held until half-time. After a bout of pinball in the Railway circle, Alec Moffett pounced for the second goal in the third quarter for the insurance goal and they looked the more likely to grab a further goal. It proved their first win over Railway at Garryduff since the introduction of the EY league.

Cork C of I goalscorer Alec Moffett in action against Railway. Pic: Graham Catchpole

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