Contenders show their hand at School’s Champs

All-Ireland Schoolboy’s Championships – day one
Leinster sides enjoyed mixed fortunes on the opening day of the All-Ireland Schoolboy’s Championships on a day when the perennial challengers showed they are likely to contend once again.

David Cole’s hat-trick of penalty corners gave St Andrew’s all the impetus they needed to get their campaign off to a fine start against Regent House. He netted the first two before Jonathan Codd finished off from close range on the half-time hooter from a corner rebound for 3-0.

Cole made it four before a Cillian Hines deflection to Lee Cole’s reverse – perhaps fortuitous as there appeared to be a foot in the build-up – and Aaron Bailey’s goal completed a 6-0 win.

With Friends edging out Bandon 2-1, it gives the Booterstown school the initiative in Group Two. Wesley are the other Leinster outfit to get off the mark with a win as they had too much in the tank for Sullivan Upper, Luke Madeley netting a brace, but they will have their work cut out against an impressive Ashton.

Gary Wilkinson and Richard Lynch were a handful throughout and they hit the front in the first half through Stephen Wolfe against Wallace. It was a nervy lead at times but the host school eased any tension in front of a home crowd when Richard Sweetnam scored a stroke.

Wilkinson cracked home an open-side shot to share top of the table, possibly setting up a winner-takes-all battle at 1.30pm tomorrow.

Elsewhere, St Columba’s put in a decent first half shift against reigning champions Banbridge before running out of gas. Bann are without Josh Moffett but EHL representatives Owen Magee and Matthew Bell both netted in the first half but the Rathfarnham outfit had their moments, hitting the post and winning corners.

But six goals in the closing quarter gave the tie a lop-sided look as Rory Woods and John McKee grabbed quick-fire
doubles. Midleton – semi-finalists a year ago – were the other winners in group four, transforming a 1-0 half-time lead into a three goal margin with Andrew Colton and Greg Chambers on the mark. RBAI battled back but the east Cork side held on to win 3-2.

Cookstown look on course to boss group one as Ian Sloan’s half-dozen powered them to a 9-1 win over Newpark while Sutton Park were edged out by Campbell College 1-0.

All-Ireland Schoolboy’s Championships, day one results
Group One:
Cookstown 9 Newpark 1; Sutton Park 0 Campbell College 1 (J Lyner)
Group Two: St Andrew’s 6 (D Cole 3, J Codd, A Bailey, C Hines) Regent House 0; Bandon 1 (B Scott) Friends 2 (A Allen, Marshall)
Group Three: Ashton 3 (S Wolfe, R Sweetnam, G Wilkinson) Wallace 0; Wesley 3 (L Madeley 2, K von Eickholdt) Sullivan Upper 0
Group Four: Midleton 3 (A Colton 2, G Chambers) RBAI 2; Banbridge 8 (O Magee 2, R Woods 2, J McKee 2, M Bell, B Cosgrove) St Columba’s 0

** For full Thursday fixture list, click here

** To keep up to date with all the results as they occur throughout the day, go to twitter.com/hookhockey or use the #irishhockey hashtag

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