Tarf up to 14 wins from 14 as men’s IHT semi-finalists confirmed

Clontarf rebuilt their lead in men’s Leinster Division One with a 4-1 win over Avoca in the one tie to be played in the division over the weekend.

Tarf had most of the ball in the first half and duly built a strong lead. Jordan Edmonds opened the scoring in the first quarter with a dribble from halfway into the D and popped the ball over the oncoming keeper with a reverse push.

Kevin Mullins got the second from an open side hit while Davyn Keuter notched a third from a deflected short corner. Kev Murray extended the lead to 4-0 after good baseline link-up play.

Avoca got their goal via Ruari Nolan just before half time with a breakaway from a short corner and a scrappy finish. The second half was more even with both sides getting chances but no addition to the scoreline.

It puts the Bulls back up to six points clear but with an extra game played compared to second placed Railway Union.

The Waterford side that beat UCC 3-0

Elsewhere, Portrane’s outstanding season continued at Raphoe where they were 3-2 winners in the Irish Hockey Trophy quarter-finals with Brian McMahon, Andrew Darroch and Chris Neville scoring the goals. They will be in Ulster again for the semis, travelling to South Antrim.

Waterford kept their title retention hopes going courtesy of an Isaac Johnson hat trick while man of the match Alistair Shute rolled back the years between the posts.

It served to beat UCC 3-0 at the Mardyke in their quarter-final, overturning a 4-2 home defeat to the same opposition just a couple of weeks ago.
Next up for Waterford is a home date with Belfast Harlequins after they won a dramatic 8-7 sudden death shootout win over Civil Service at Deramore.

The regulation 70 minutes had ended 3-3 after Quins came back from 2-0 down as Service had looked likely to exact revenge for their 6-0 Linden Cup final defeat by their Belfast rivals.

Chris Barnes gave the visitors the lead in the 34th minute with a clinical penalty corner conversion. Seven minutes later, a brilliant solo effort from Stephen Armstrong doubled the Service lead and then Barnes squandered a glorious chance to make it three.

That miss was made to look costly as Michael Patterson pulled one back but Armstrong struck again to make it 3-1 in the 55th minute.

Then goals from Patterson (penalty stroke) and Matthew Gray in the last nine minutes forced the shootout.

It took 11 rounds to settle the outcome and Patterson scored all three of his efforts, including the winner in the third phase to earn Quins a date with
Waterford in the last four.

Mullingar confirmed their place in the Irish Hockey Challenge semis with a 5-1 win over Galway, setting up a date with Portrush. Antrim will face Limerick on the other side of the draw.

Men’s Leinster Division 1: Clontarf 4 (J Edmonds, K Mullins, D Keuter, K Murray) Avoca 1 (R Nolan)

Irish Hockey Trophy, quarter-finals: Belfast Harlequins 3 (M Patterson 2, M Gray) NICS 3 (S Armstrong 2, C Barnes), Belfast Harlequins win shoot-out 7-6; Raphoe 2 (S Goudie, Ja Watt) Portrane 3 (B McMahon, A Darroch, C Neville); UCC 0 Waterford 3 (I Johnson 3)

Irish Hockey Challenge: Mullingar 5 (M Watters 2, T Hwato 2, S Synott) Galway 1 (F Moynihan)

Munster Division 1: Bandon 8 (C Crowley 3, F O’Leary 2, I Perrott, R Smyth, R Smith, D Smith) Catholic Institute 0

Irish Junior Cup, semi-finals: Clontarf 2 Lisnagarvey 6; Corinthian 2 Three Rock Rovers 2, Corinthian win shoot-out 4-3

Men's Leinster Senior Div 1