Men’s EY Hockey League – day nine round-up
UCD 3 (C Empey 2, A Empey) Corinthian 4 (P Caruth, G Holmes, D Howard, I Stewart)
Ian Stewart netted with six minutes to go to grab Corinthian a big away win, moving them into sixth place on their own and keep up their interest in the playoff places.
In gale-force conditions, the reds burst into a 2-0 lead with Glenn Holmes on the mark in the first quarter and – after UCD hit the crossbar – David Howard converted a stroke. Conor Empey pegged one back within two minutes of that and his younger brother Ali levelled at 2-2 before half-time.
Conor Empey slung home a corner for 3-2 but Peter Caruth responded in kind for 3-3 at the quarter-time break before Stewart weighed in with the winner, his fourth goal in two games since the turn of the year – he has eight for the season.
“They’re learning at an incredible rate and are so hungry, taking on any sort of knowledge myself and Peter [Caruth] can give them,” coach Joe Brennan said after the twin. “They keep pushing on and hopefully we can now put ourselves in the hunt because I want to battle for top four rather than just staying up.
“We’ve shown ourselves as being hard to beat but maybe it’s important to change the mindset.”
He also hailed Charlie Henderson’s involvement in goals. “We were lucky enough to be able to call on someone of Charlie’s calibre. While he is not the youngest and hasn’t played in five years, he is such a great guy to have around. He does the basics so well in goals and is a big, positive character so you couldn’t ask for someone better to do what he has done for us.”
YMCA 2 (R Henderson, T Power) Lisnagarvey 3 (A Williamson 2, M McNellis)
Lisnagarvey produced a big comeback to beat ninth place YMCA as the leaders got an almighty scare as the Wesley hosts impressed but were frustrated not to be more from the game.
Ross Henderson’s deflection got them up and running in the 11th minute and Tom Power also got a first time finish to make it 2-0 to the Y two minutes later.
Garvey ramped up the pressure in the second quarter with a quartet of corners kept out by Jakim Bernsden and his defence but the Ulster side had a lifeline when Andy Williamson netted his 15th goal of the campaign.
His 16th arrived early in the second half before Mark McNellis scored a rare goal in the 43rd – Garvey’s third strike in 12 minutes either side of half-time – to turn the game around. YM fought back and had corner chances to get something out of the game but Grant Glutz was denied by James Milliken, leaving it at 3-2.
It keeps Lisnagarvey five points clear at the top while YM are in ninth in the relegation playoff place, five clear of bottom side Annadale.
Glenanne 4 (S Boucher 3 S Ronan) Banbridge 7 (J Wright 2, J McKee, E Magee, R Scott, J Moffett, Pe Brown)
Banbridge continued their strong form with a fifth win in six outings to move into third place, level on points with UCD and Three Rock Rovers at the halfway stage of the league.
They got off to a slow start as Shannon Boucher ripped in a corner; Peter Brown equalised quickly after Owen Magee’s perfectly weighted pass found Philip Brown who centred to his younger brother to finish on his reverse.
Boucher got the second when Gary Shaw took a free-hit in the right corner and fired across to the striker who touched in behind his back, going in off a defensive leg. Josh Moffett equalised for 2-2 when Owen Magee burst around the back and laid up for Jonny McKee; his initial shot was blocked but his team mate cleaned up the chance.
And it was 3-2 before the end of the quarter, Eugene Magee this time picking out Robbie Scott for a simple finish at the quarter-time break. The older Magee added a corner for 4-2 before Bann started to pick off some ragged outletting – Hugh McShane intercepted a blind pass in midfield, leading to Jamie Wright’s shot going in via a deflection in front of Leo Micklem.
Then McKee stole in after a miscontrol on the 23-metre line gave him a clear run on goal, shooting in on his backhand – 6-2 at half-time. Wright got his second for 7-2 with a tap-in after a swift move down the left wing which McKee spun back into the path and Eugena Magee slapped to the waiting Wright at the right post.
Boucher completed his hat trick and Stu Ronan scored a stroke late in the game but Bann were well in the clear at that stage.
Pembroke 2 (A Sothern, J Ryan) Three Rock Rovers 5 (B Walker 2, M Darling, P Blakeney, R Canning)
Three Rock Rovers landed their fifth win of the campaign with a 5-2 win at Serpentine Avenue after a strong first half performance had them well in the clear. After a couple of direct corner chances were well defended, Rovers deployed a couple of deflection moves which Ben Walker guided in both times, making it 2-0 in the 20th minute.
Mitch Darling added a third before half-time and Peter Blakeney scored another for 4-0 in the second half, going around the goalkeeper at the back post following Harry Morris’s turnover and drive.
Pembroke got on the board early in the fourth quarter via an Alan Sothern drag-flick in the 55th minute and the game became frantic when Jack Ryan got another back with eight minutes to go from play. But nerves were settled with a couple of minutes left via Ross Canning. Rovers move up to 16 points with, level with UCD and Banbridge.
Annadale 0 Monkstown 6 (D Carson, S Cole, G Watkins, R Quirke, R Nichols, M Gibbons)
Monkstown bounced back from their first defeat of the season with a comfortable 6-0 win over bottom side Annadale at Strathearn. Rory Nichols’ eighth goal of the campaign put them 1-0 up in the 22nd minute and Stephen Cole doubled up for a 2-0 half-time lead from a corner rebound.
Davy Carson stretched the lead to 3-0 with a first time reverse on the run. The fourth was a brilliant team move with Mark Gibbons getting in front of his defender to finish off. Ross Quirke smashed the fifth into the roof of the net and the sixth was a late stroke from Gareth Watkins after Carson was fouled when rounding the goalkeeper.