Pembroke show character once again to head EYHL table

Men’s EY Hockey League – day two round-up
Pembroke 4 (S Sullivan, G Garrett, S Sweetnam, C Murphy) Monkstown 3 (G Watkins, A Ward, G Sarratt)
Pembroke came back from a 2-0 half-time deficit to beat Monkstown 4-3, making it two wins out of two with their new-look team with Cedric Mushiete, Ronan Flannery and Harry Spain all unavailable in addition to the summer moves.

Town looked to be flying high as Gareth Watkins broke through a couple of tackles before shooting home a reverse in the 12th minute and Andrew Ward finished off a second five minutes later, both times counter-attacking at pace when Pembroke committed players forward.

During the second quarter, Simon Thornton kept out a series of Monkstown chances as they could have put the game out of sight.

But the second half saw a change of fortunes with Scott Sullivan’s goal at the left post a minute after the big break a crucial moment. Geoff Garrett tied the game three minutes later as Pembroke got a lot of joy in attacking the baseline, creating back post chances.

Captain Stephen Sweetnam gave Pembroke the lead for a 3-2 advantage at the three-quarter time break and teenager Cian Murphy crowned a fine performance with their fourth goal with 13 minutes to go, starting the move himself before releasing the ball down the line and getting it at back at the far post for a tap-in.

Guy Sarratt got one back late on from a corner but Pembroke held on for the win, their second coming from behind of the season already.

Cookstown 0 Lisnagarvey 4 (M Nelson 2, J Lorimer, A Williamson)
Three goals in the first 24 minutes put Lisnagarvey well on course for a comfortable win over Cookstown, getting them off the mark for the season. James Lorimer scored an early penalty corner drag-flick before Matthew Nelson latched onto a great pass into the circle and he drove home into the bottom corner on his reverse.

Nelson was joined in the Garvey line-up by his brothers Daniel and Ben with the three playing together in the first team for the first time. Andy Williamson turned in at the back post to make it 3-0 at half-time. Matthew Nelson added a fourth goal at the death to close out the victory.

Banbridge 3 (J Moffett 2, E Magee) Cork C of I 1 (J Jermyn)
Banbridge left it late for a second successive week with three goals in the last 10 minutes seeing them make it two wins from two. A week ago, they needed a last minute penalty corner to win it against Three Rock Rovers; this time, they trailed 1-0 to a John Jermyn penalty stroke for a long time but two late goals from Josh Moffett and another from Magee turned things around.

Early on, C of I sat deep and looked to hit Bann on the counter. It worked well as they won a couple of corners and then a stroke 10 minutes in which Jermyn nailed. They had further chances repelled by Luke Roleston before Bann got into their full flow. Billy Lynch did well to block a Fraser Mills shot and the hosts’ first corner.

The second half saw Bann needing to be patient as the Munster men played a disciplined defensive game, holding their slender lead into half-time. The second half saw Stephen Parker and Jermyn both see cards, reducing them to nine for a spell but there was to be no breakthrough yet.

That was to come in the last ten minutes when John McKee embarked on a superb run and he picked out Moffett to score via a deflection. It broke the visitors’ resistance and, soon after, Magee scored following a series of corners for 2-1. Moffett added another deflected goal to make the game safe and another three points.

Glenanne edged out Annadale 2-1 (Click for more images)

Annadale 1 (C Ruttle) Glenanne 2 (D Keogh, E O’Malley)
Glenanne got off their first win of the new season with a 2-1 win over Annadale at Strathearn. The Glens controlled the first quarter possession wise and created a few half before Dale won two corners on turnovers and counters.

From the first one, a switch left to Peter Caruth was slapped over James Murtagh – in for Iain Walker who was away – which went into the goal with debate whether it hit the backboard or the stantion. The umpires decided it was above backboard-height crossing the line and so ruled it out. The second corner was saved by Murtagh’s stick.

The visitors went ahead in Q2; a drag flick was stopped on the line by a foot and David Keogh scored the stroke.

In the third period, the Glens has the better chances with a two-v-one chance brilliantly saved by Jonny Moore, diving back across to his right to stop Shannon Boucher scoring into an open goal. Shortly after, a high press was turned over by Neil Byrne and he drew the last defender, squared to Eddie O’Malley to finish from eight yards.

Annadale piled on the pressure in the final quarter, missing out at the back post and winning a few corners that were miscued before they got on the board via Cameron Ruttle. They had three corners in the last two minutes, two of which were run down and the last was slapped by Caruth but Murtagh got down to save.

YMCA 1 (G Glutz) Three Rock Rovers 3 (D Walsh 2, B Walker)
Three Rock Rovers eventually forced home their dominance to see off YMCA in the first EY Hockey League game to be played at Wesley College with Daragh Walsh’s pair of goals added to by Ben Walker.

Walsh got the reigning Champions Trophy holders on the board in the fifth minutes when he slotted under Jakim Bernsden on the backhand from around the penalty spot.

But the afternoon was not to prove a simple one as YMCA defended well and took their sole chance of the first quarter when Ben O’Grady found Grant Glutz who slammed home. Rovers ran up a half dozen corners before half-time with Bernsden making a number of saves to keep the game level at 1-1.

The trend continued in the second half before Rovers retook the lead in the 46th minute from a switched corner move, deflected in by Walsh at close quarters. Five minutes later, Ben Walker burst through and dinked over a sliding Bernsden for 3-1.

YM belatedly got some momentum, Glutz testing Carr with their first meaningly circle entry since the first quarter while two late corners were repelled.

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