Garvey take three point lead as Cookstown score huge win

Men’s EY Hockey League – day 15 round-up
Banbridge 2 (E Magee 2) Glenanne 1 (S Brownlow)

Banbridge picked up a vital win over Glenanne to remain very much in the title hunt as they saw off Glenanne at Havelock Park, ending their recent run of one point from the last nine.

For the Glens, they are now on a similar run as they lost further ground in the title chase. After a scoreless first half, Eugene Magee scored twice in third quarter to give Bann a lead their control of the tie up to that point merited.

Glenanne fought back in the closing quarter and dominated much of the proceedings, getting a goal back via a penalty stroke from Stephen Brownlow and they had a corner in the final minute but it was blocked to keep the points in Havelock Park.

Pembroke Wanderers 3 (C Murphy, S Sweetnam, C Thomas) Cookstown 4 (R Millar 2, C Anderson, M Crooks)
Cookstown had a brilliant win on the road on Saturday, boosting their chance of avoiding the relegation playoffs and putting a big dent in Pembroke’s chances. It was the Co Tyrone side’s first win over Pembroke in over 20 years.

Cookstown took the lead after five minutes when Mark Crooks combined with Scott McCabe down the right with the latter crossing for Callum Anderson to finish with a powerful half-volley. The second quarter saw Pembroke come out of the blocks and Cian Murphy scored from a baseline cut back for 1-1.

The Co Tyrone side returned to the lead off the back of a battling defensive combination of Matty Rollins, Godfrey Irwin and Josh McCabe. In the breakdown, Cookstown broke upfield with Anderson and Crooks combining to win a short. Ryan Millar’s flick was stopped illegally on the line and he put the consequent penalty stroke away.

He added his second for 3-1 from a penalty corner. Pembroke lifted their play and won a penalty stoke of their own after the ball hit a foot in the circle. Stephen Sweetnam scored.

The Reds were able to force a number of opportunities on the counter over the last few minutes of the third quarter but it was Pembroke who levelled it up, Cody Thomas firing in a reverse after a pinpoint Harry Spain pass.

In a helter-skelter final quarter, Paul Thompson went close with a volley for Cookstown while Pembroke’s Greg Chambers missed an open goal and it was left to Mark Crooks to get the winner from another penalty corner, netting after an excellent save from the Pembroke goalkeeper Simon Thornton.

YMCA 3 (F Marriott, B Campbell, S Hyland) Monkstown 3 (K Lynch 2, G Sarratt)
Monkstown fought back from 3-1 down at half-time to earn a point, denying YMCA what would have been a crucial win in their bid to avoid a relegation playoff.

Karl Lynch got Town in front when he made a strong run down the left to get into the D and squeeze in for 1-0. YM equalised when Ben Campbell forced his way upfield and got a shot away which Fionn Marriott deflected in.

Campbell put his side in front with another powerful run and he worked the ball onto his reverse and smashed home. Sam Hyland roofed a penalty stroke to make it 3-1 at half-time.

It remained that way through the third quarter with Monkstown stepping up their tempo. Karl Lynch halved the deficit when he worked the ball along the baseline and flicked it in and they had the chance to equalise from the penalty spot but Gareth Watkins saw Jakim Bernsden make a brilliant low save.

Guy Sarratt did level it up with seven minutes to go from a penalty corner, however, to see the honours even.

Cork C of I 1 (S Wolfe) Lisnagarvey 4 (J Lorimer 2, D Nelson, T Chambers)
Lisnagarvey beat Cork C of I for the second time in a week to move three points clear at the top of the table, leaving the Munster side six points adrift at the bottom with four games to go this season.

The game saw a welcome return for Phil Smith to the C of I backline but they fell behind from the game’s first corner when James Lorimer dragged home. Phil Brownlow was denied a one-on-one chance by the first quarter whistle and the hosts were pegged back again when Lorimer added his second corner goal in similar fashion to his first.

It remained that way into half-time but C of I were right back in the game when Simon Wolfe made a great run through the centre and his shot from the top went straight in the bottom right. Within two minutes, though, Daniel Nelson put Garvey 3-1 up from a quick counter attack and they made it 4-1 via Troy Chambers from a corner move just before the end of the third quarter and that was how it remained through to the final whistle.

Annadale 2 (R Burgess, P Corrie) Three Rock Rovers 4 (J Hosking, B Walker, L Madeley, H Morris)
Three Rock Rovers left it late to eventually shake off Annadale, making it five wins in a row in the league to build their case for an EY Champions Trophy place.

They fell behind to a Ryan Burgess penalty corner in the 21st minute but went on to score the next four to take the game. Jody Hosking levelled just before half-time and they hit the front for the first time in the 49th minute via Ben Walker.

Luke Madeley’s drag-flick with nine minutes to go gave Rovers some breathing room and Harry Morris got his third in a week with two minutes to go. Peter Corrie got one back for Dale in the dying moments.

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