Garvey stay in pursuit as Glens stretch out 10-point lead

Men’s EY Hockey League round-up
Lisnagarvey 3 (S Murray, A Williamson, N Glassey) Banbridge 1 (L Witherow)
Three goals in the first 14 minutes put Lisnagarvey on course for their second derby win of the season over Banbridge, keeping up their interest in a late bid to close in on Glenanne at the top of the table.

Sean Murray opened the scoring in an end-to-end opening phase before Andy Williamson made no mistake from a penalty corner. Neal Glassey got the third soon after for an imposing lead though the scoreline was perhaps starker than the flow of play. Garvey maintained that lead into the half-time break before Bann had a series of corners in the third quarter and got one back shortly before the mini-break through Luke Witherow.

Both sides continued to create chances in a finely balanced final quarter but no further goals meant Garvey had their seventh win of the campaign. They remain 11 points off leaders Glenanne but have three games in hand, starting with Annadale on Wednesday evening at 8pm on Comber Road.

Pembroke 2 (A Sothern 2) Monkstown 2 (M Romoli, N Dee)
Alan Sothern salvaged a point in the dying moments of the Dublin derby at Serpentine Avenue, scoring when his side had gone for broke, swapping out their goalkeeper for an extra outfielder.

Both sides hit the post the the early stages of a lively encoutner as Kirk Shimmins took the fight to Town with some of his trademark runs. They took the lead via Sothern from a penalty stroke in the 29th minute.

Monkstown forced Pembroke back for much of the remainder of the half with Mark Ingram making from top saves and David Cole going close. Nick Dee equalised right on half from a corner deflection move.

Into the second half, Shimmins continued to cause plenty of problems while Monkstown’s speed on the counter created plenty of chances. Both sides had corner chances to go ahead before Matteo Romoli got on the end of Town move with two minutes to go for what looked like the winner. Pembroke brought on their kicking back, though, retained possession and eventually worked it to star shooter Sothern to secure the draw.

Annadale 3 (J Taylor, R Carr, O Flack) Cork C of I 3 (J Jermyn 2, S Parker)
Cork C of I earned a second successive draw, inching them a bit further away from the relegation playoff spot as they came back to tie 3-3 with Annadale.

Jermyn had the visitors 1-0 up in the first minute with a penalty corner drag-flick before John Taylor levelled in the second quarter and Rhiley Carr netted a corner for Dale for a 2-1 half-time lead.

Jermyn tied the game up once again in the second half only for Oliver Flack to give Annadale the lead for a second time. Stephen Parker made it 3-3 with a corner touch, levelling the game going into the final quarter. Dale did have a final second corner to win it and had the ball in the net but illegally so, meaning the sides stay in seventh and eighth place, respectively.

Cookstown 1 (J Haycock) Glenanne 5 (S Boucher 2, E O’Malley, G Shaw, J Rogan)
Glenanne extended their lead to a massive 10-points at the top of the men’s EY Hockey League table with a comfortable 5-1 win at Steelweld Park.

The Glens were slightly understrength but got the best possible start when Eddie O’Malley smashed into the far corner after good attacking play down the right by Gary Shaw.

Lisnagarvey celebrate a Neal Glassey goal. Pic: Andrew McKibbin (click for more pics)

With Mark Rooney in the sin-bin, Glenanne took advantage to get a second via a Shannon Boucher corner second phase goal. Quarter Two was barely two minutes old when the Glens got another goal, Boucher took it strong and flicked the ball goalwards, catching Josh McCabe moving in the other direction, and making it 3-0.

Cookstown did get a goal five minutes later when Jack Haycock deflected home from a well-worked penalty corner.

The second half began with a smashing double save from O’Malley and Stephen Brownlow by Josh McCabe, but the game was becoming end-to-end with several chances in short order for Stuart Smyth, Rooney, Brownlow and Boucher.

And they moved further clear following an O’Malley no-look pass was met on the run by Gary Shaw and he slotted home for 4-1. And Jason Rogan showed good poise late on to link up with Boucher upfield, before turning it past McCabe in the Cookstown goal.

Richard Couse in action for Glenanne against Cookstown. Pic: Alan Donnelly (click for more pics)

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