Garvey move five clear as men’s EYHL returns in feisty style

Men’s EY Hockey League

Lisnagarvey 2 (A Williamson, J Lorimer) Monkstown 1 (R Nichols)

Lisnagarvey moved into a five-point lead at the summit of the EY Irish Hockey League after narrowly defeating Monkstown in the top of the table clash at Comber Road.

Garvey could, however, have had the game put to bed had they not uncharacteristically missed several chances when leading 1-0. The Dubliners almost made their hosts pay for their profligacy and could have snatched a point with the last play of the game only to be denied by a fine stop from keeper James Milliken.

Garvey’s Jonny Bell said: “The first game back after Christmas was always going to be tough but we are delighted with the win.”

The Hillsborough side got off to a dream start when, in the 12th minute, Andy Williamson, scored with a cracking tomahawk into the roof of the net after collecting a pin-point diagonal pass from Peter McKibbin.

Aran Rooney could have equalised almost immediately but he scuffed his shot with only Milliken to beat while a Rory Nichols’ pass found Gareth Watkins just inside the circle but his shot went inches wide of the far post.

Town got their reward three minutes into the second-half when Nichols fired in a penalty corner won by Davy Carson. In the 48th minute, James Lorimer replied in kind to make it 2-1 against the run of play.

Corinthian’s Andrew Sutton and TRR’s Ali Haughton battle for the ball. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Garvey seemed buoyed by that goal and Lorimer and Williamson (twice) both went close, Keith Kenning and David Fitzgerald denying them, to adding the insurance goal before that late scare when Nichols was foiled by the Garvey keeper. That ended a good tempo tie played in the right spirit.

Glenanne 1 (S Boucher) UCD 2 (J Henry, E Ramsay)

UCD picked up their fifth win of the campaign to strengthen their place in EYHL playoff places courtesy of a 2-1 win over Glenanne at St Andrew’s. The students started the brighter, putting on the pressure from the start and they opened the scoring when Matteo Romoli rolled the ball down the line to Ali Empey, who turned his man and picked out Jazze Henry alone in the middle who calmly rounded the goalkeeper.

Glennane came into the game with chances falling for both sides but fell further behind when Ewan Ramsay scored his first goal of the season from a diving deflection after good work from Conor Empey and Cian Murphy.  

Glennane got back into the game when Shannon Boucher scored a low drag with UCD down to 10 men – Andrew Meates shown a red card with 12 minutes to go – but they held out to pick up all three points.

Three Rock Rovers 4 (M English, H Morris, S Grace, J Hosking) Corinthian 4 (I Stewart 3, J Roberts)

The Marlay derby produced an eight-goal battle as Jody Hosking rescued a point for Three Rock Rovers four minutes from full-time after his side had led twice. Mark English netted in just the second minute when Ben Walker picked him out with a pin-point pass from left to right.

Ian Stewart smacked in an equaliser a minute later, profiting from a baseline pull-back and the reds were 2-1 in front when Johnny Roberts deflected in Peter Caruth’s power-slap from a free outside the 23-metre zone. Harry Morris tied it up at 2-2 when he poked home a rebound from close range in the 16th minute.

Sam Grace and Stewart then traded goals in the minutes leading up to half-time for 3-3. Things tightened up considerably in the second half but the free-scoring Stewart in the 44th minute from a turnover and he struck a good reverse for 4-3. But Hosking popped up with the equaliser with a deflection late in the game from a corner for a point.

Pembroke 6 (A Sothern 6) Annadale 2 (R Burgess 2)

Alan Sothern hit Annadale for six as his double hat-trick earned them their second victory of the season, propelling them out of the relegation playoff place and into sixth place. After a scoreless first quarter, Ryan Burgess gave Dale the lead from the penalty spot but that was quickly counter-acted by a pair of Sothern penalty corner drag-flicks, making it 2-1 at half-time.

He completed his hat trick with an upright reverse-stick shot for 3-1 and then he netted a fourth from another corner. The fifth came from play before Burgess got one back for Annadale from a corner drag but another upright reverse-stick shot gave Pembroke the victory.

YMCA 0 Banbridge 8 (J McKee 4, E Magee 2, B McCandless, A Tinney)

Banbridge carried their pre-Christmas form through to the new year with a thumping 8-0 win over YMCA, making it four wins from their last five, lifting them into the top four for the first time.

Bruce McCandless opened the scoring from a corner before Johnny McKee and Alexander Tinney stretched the lead to 3-0 before the end of the first quarter. McKee added the next three before Eugene Magee finished with a flourish to build up an 8-0 result. YM drop into the relegation playoff place as a result.

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