Cork C of I were within moments of copper-fastening a semi-final date only for Michael Fulham’s late goal to earn Railway Union a 2-2 draw in Pool A of the men’s EYHL Division 2.
John Jermyn’s pair of penalty corners had C of I on course for a fourth successive win in the group but Fulham popped up with a corner goal in the last two minutes to level the game. It leaves C of I needing a draw from either of their final two games but they could still qualify without that should other results pan out in their favour.
Michael MacKenzie put Railway in front off a well executed counter-attack, finishing with a low tomahawk before Jermyn’s powerful flicks swapped the lead around but Railway had a series of corners at the end and finally made it count.
C of I had the better of the second quarter where Stephen O’Keeffe made a number of quality saves and they drew level near the half time break through a low drag.
In quarter three, C of I had the wind at their backs and Jermyn was again on hand to convert straight from a penalty corner. The closing phase, however, saw Railway put the pressure on which led to a number of penalty corners with Fulham’s drag flick eventually drawing it level.
Elsewhere, Instonians eased by the challenge of Avoca with seven different scorers on the list against Avoca 8-1 at Shaw’s Bridge. Inst move into second place on their own, three points back from C of I but two clear of Railway. Avoca are eliminated as a result.
In Pool B, Clontarf are now in pole position after they jumped from third to first place in the group with a 5-0 win over Cork Harlequins. Jordan Edmonds set them on their way when he turned over the ball, dribbled to the edge of the D and unleashed a powerful shot for 1-0.
A Davyn Keuter drag-flick and a Kevin Mullins reverse made it 3-0 before half-time in the midst of some torrential rain which necessitated an extended half-time break with excess water cleared by volunteers at Mount Temple.
Keuter got the fourth goal before Kevin Murray finished off a lovely attacking move along the baseline. The bulls go up to 11 points, one ahead of Harlequins who remain in the playoff spots after Kilkeel got a surprise win against Cookstown 5-3.
Kilkeel went 2-0 up inside the first 10 minutes and John Finlay made it three early in the second quarter.
Scott McCabe got a goal before half time to give the Cookstown reds some hope and in the third quarter Cookstown were the better side with Max Anderson winning a stroke which Ryan Millar just about converted.
However, indiscipline began to creep into the match. Kilkeel were reduced to ten men and Cookstown to nine and the Mourne men reacted best to lead 4-2 via a corner from Mark Henning.
Stu Smyth pulled another one back but a slip from Josh McCabe in goal led to another yellow card and a short corner which the home team tucked away via David Rae.
In Leinster Division One, Portrane stay just in front of Rathgar in third place as they won 2-1 in Kilkenny with Brian McMahon showing some beautiful dexterity from a corner rebound after Ian O’Keeffe’s fine initial save.
— The Hook (@hookhockey) February 15, 2020
Rathgar were too strong for Weston in a 7-2 victory, Guy Prendergast bringing his season’s tally to seven goals with a hat trick.
Adrian Sweeney also scored three times when Dublin North beat Dublin University 5-2; he is up to 14 for the current campaign
EYHL Division 2 – Pool A: Instonians 8 (S Kelso 2, S Hamill, M Watt, Brown, C Kirk, W Robinson, B Palmer) Avoca 1 (H Fowler-Hudson); Railway Union 2 (M McKenzie, M Fulham) Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn 2)
Pool B: Clontarf 5 (D Keuter 2, J Edmonds, K Mullins, K Murray) Cork Harlequins 0; Kilkeel 5 (D Finlay, E Agnew, J Finlay, M Henning, D Rae) Cookstown 3 (S Smyth, S McCabe, R Miller)
Leinster Division 1: Dublin University 2 (P Temperley 2) Dublin North 5 (A Sweeney 3, P Gahan, S Dempsey); Kilkenny 1 (E Dore) Portrane 2 (B McMahon, S Graham); Weston 2 (A Quinn, M Pluck) Rathgar 7 (G Prendergast 3, A Malcolm 2, A White, M Collins)