Town close in on title; Avoca in seventh heaven

Men’s Leinster Division One:
Glenanne 2 (E Tucker 2) Pembroke 2 (M Elliott, K O’Hare)

Glenanne and Pembroke shared a 2-2 draw at Glenanne Park that does not overly help either of their respective targets though both look well set for an IHL ticket. Enda Tucker gave the Glens an early lead before Keith O’Hare scored his second goal in recent weeks for the club from a corner to tie things up at 1-1 inside 20 minutes.

Tucker restored the advantage by half-time when he finished off good work by Neil Byrne and Richie Shaw but Maurice Elliott got the equaliser in the second half when Justin Sherriff’s shot fell his way and he made no mistake.

With the friendliest of the run-ins, Glenanne look to be in great shape to land an Irish Hockey League place. Two points better off, Pembroke should also make it if they get results against Avoca and Corinthian in the remaining weeks before a final day showdown with Monkstown.

Avoca’s Rob Pearson, right, celebrates scoring against a dejected-looking Rathgar defence Pic: Carl Breaden (click for more images)

Avoca 7 (R Couse 3, Z Agnew, R Pearson, A Ramsay, J Byrnes) Rathgar 1 (S Thompson)
Avoca inflicted Rathgar’s heaviest defeat of the season to win the basement battle at Newpark, moving the Blackrock side up to six points and off the bottom. It happened on a day when Peter Agnew lined out alongside his son Ziggy, the former playing in his fifth different decade in the top tier having made his debut in the 1970s.

Richard Couse, Agnew junior and Andrew Ramsay – all products of the club’s youth system – were on the score sheet before half time as Avoca built a 3-1 lead, Stephen Thompson getting the Chiefs goal.

Rob Pearson got a rare goal to make it 4-1 before Johnny Byrnes and a double from Couse – completing his hat trick – closed out their biggest win in division one in quite some time.

Corinthian 0 YMCA 3 (T Ritchie 2, K Hensburg)
YMCA closed the gap on the leading quarter in the IHL race as the three sides above them all dropped points, comfortably seeing off Corinthian at Whitechurch Park. Thom Ritchie got the first before Kurt Hensburg continued his goal a game start to life with the Y since arriving in Dublin for a 2-0 lead. Ritchie completed the result when he fired home on the reverse from a penalty corner counter-attack.

Monkstown 2 (R Sykes, A Ward) Three Rock Rovers 1 (J Brennan)
Monkstown moved an almost insurmountable six points clear at the top of men’s Leinster division one as they edged past Three Rock Rovers 2-1 at Rathdown.

Richard Sykes got the only goal of the first half from a penalty corner after Gareth Watkins and Andrew Ward had both hit the post. David Fitzgerald kept out a Rovers corner on the stroke of half-time to keep it 1-0 at the break.

Stephen West also impressed between the posts but Ward made it 2-0 early in the second half with a powerful shot that took a deflection. From there, Rovers produced some good hockey to create some good chances and got a lifeline in the last ten minutes when Joe Brennan touched in a corner.

They had another set piece in the last two minutes but Monkstown kept it out to secure the three points. With Glenanne and Pembroke drawing, it gave them an even bigger advantage in their pursuit of a second successive league title.

Mills Cup semi-final: YMCA 0 Glenanne 1 (R Shaw)
Glenanne remain on course for an LHA cup double after Richie Shaw’s single goal saw them see off YMCA at Milltown in the semi-final. After a scoreless and largely chanceless first half, a glut of corners eventually fell to Shaw who slapped home.

From there, YM pushed on in the closing quarter but could not break through. Glenanne will now go on to face either Railway Union or Corinthian in the final four.

Men's Leinster Senior Div 1