Avoca gave a fitting tribute to past president Geoff Sarratt as they swept to a 5-1 win in Portrane in men’s Leinster Division One, their first points of 2019.
A former past president, Sarratt passed away on Friday following a lifelong connection with the club, winning the Irish Junior Cup in 1965 among many highlights while hs also managed the Irish Under-21 team in the 1980s.
His son Andrew is also a past president while Philip, another son, followed in his father’s footsteps to win the Irish Junior in 2000. Geoff’s grandson Guy did likewise with Monkstown.
Following a minute’s silence, Avoca got off to strong start, playing high tempo hockey, and they were rewarded with an open play goal from the diving Jonathan Elmes on eight minutes. Cian Funge scored on 12 minutes to put Avoca further ahead.
The middle period of the first half saw Portrane deal better with the pace of the game and created a couple of good chances. But a Simon Lowry goal from a penalty corner rebound in the minutes before half-time put Avoca in a very strong position.
The second half saw Portrane come out in a more attacking mode, pressing higher, leaving two men high. They got one back when a deflected corner shot hit Kevin Mellott’s body on the line; Imran Khan converted the stroke, creating an outside chance of a point.
This was shortlived as two minutes later, youngster Evan Rankin found the backboard with a drive and shot. Eli Bigwood rounded off the scoring with a low drag. Portrane bounced back on Sunday with a comfortable 6-0 win over Bray to reach the Neville Davin Cup final.
At Santry Avenue, Dublin University made it two wins from two since the turn of the year when they saw off Kilkenny 5-3. Liam Bean got their first from around the penalty spot, latching onto a long diagonal ball from Ben Arrowsmith, deflecting neatly into the side netting.
Kilkenny responded with concerted attacks and equalised from tidy play along the baseline with George Smyth – usually their goalkeeper – weighing in with a very rare goal for 1-1 at the break.
Trinity came out the better side in the second half and soon took the lead with their first corner, Greg Arrowsmith going low for a Paddy Temperley deflection.
Harry Craig swept forward from left back to make it 3-1 following Tom Cole and David Robinson’s one-two and Craig finished well. Sunny Charles got one back to keep Kilkenny in the hunt but the cats were working off a deck of just 13 and Trinity had the legs to finish stronger.
Greg Arrowsmith went direct this time from a corner for 4-2 before Temperley added another, beating two and smashing a reverse bottom corner. Teenager Henry Huston carried a lot of the Kilkenny attack and he got a deserved goal in the closing stages but the students had the spoils.
Of the leading trio, UCD had the best day despite not hitting a ball due to a frozen off date with Dublin North. That was because of Corinthian and Railway Union’s 1-1 draw at Park Avenue.
Andrew Sutton scored from a corner for the reds in the first half but Fergal Keaveney equalised in the last five minutes. UCD are two points clear of Railway but now have a game in hand while the reds are six points back. Clontarf’s game with Rathgar was frozen off.
Two of the three Munster Senior Cup first round ties did get completed with Harlequins and Catholic Institute making it through. For Institute, Jannis von Maydell put in the star turn, scoring all four of their goals against Waterford in a 4-2 success.
Quins trailed C of I B 2-0 to Patrick McCarthy’s neat first half touch and Conor McCormack’s short corner goal.
But as has been the refrain every week since November, Julian Dale stepped forward to scored twice, the latter coming with eight minutes to go, to earn a shoot-out chance which Quins won in sudden death 6-5. UCC against Bandon was beaten by the frost.
Men’s Leinster Division 1: Dublin University 5 (P Temperley 2, L Bean, G Arrowsmith, H Craig) Kilkenny 3 (G Smyth, S Charles, H Huston); Railway Union 1 (F Keaveney) Corinthian 1 (A Sutton); Portrane 1 (C Neville) Avoca 5 (J Elmes, C Funge, S Lowry, E Rankin, E Bigwood)
Postponed: UCD v Dublin North; Clontarf v Rathgar
Munster Senior Cup – 1st Round: Cork Harlequins 2 (J Dale 2) Cork C of I B 2 (P McCarthy, C McCormack), Harlequins win shoot-out 6-5; Waterford 2 (B Johnson, R Isaacs) Catholic Institute 4 (J von Maydell 4)
Postponed: UCC v Bandon