UCD set out impressive stall as Garvey hit Pembroke for six

Men’s EY Hockey League – day one reports

Lisnagarvey 6 (J Lorimer 3, D Nelson, B Nelson, T Chambers) Pembroke 0

Lisnagarvey started the new campaign where they left off as James Lorimer’s penalty corner hat-trick steered the regulation season defending champions to an impressive 6-0 win over Pembroke at Comber Road.

The Hillsborough team weren’t six goals better than Pembroke but their more clinical touch in the final third was the telling factor. Garvey managed to convert three of their four penalty corners while the Dubliners had a nil return from the same number.

Lorimer said: “It was good to see the goals go in and we had been practising corners a lot in pre-season so it was pleasing that the hard work paid off. We have a predominantly young squad like last season and it’s a good start for us so long may it continue.”

The hosts had a couple of half-chances in the opening moments as Pembroke gave the ball away all too frequently. Garvey went in front in the seventh minute when, after a great move down the left, Dan Nelson smashed the ball home from 10 metres out.

In the 21st minute, it was Dan’s brother Ben’s turn to score after his sibling supplied a perfectly weighted pass for him to fire into the far corner of the net. James Milliken pulled off three decent saves in quick succession as Pembroke enjoyed a spell of pressure around the half-hour mark.

But Garvey made it 3-0 in the 33rd minute when Lorimer got his first with the aid of a deflection at a penalty corner. Two minutes later, Lorimer did it again with a straight strike and he completed his treble in the 51st minute with a thunderous effort which flew into the roof of the net. With 17 minutes remaining, Troy Chambers completed the scoring when he scrambled the ball home from close range.

Three Rock Rovers 1 (B Walker) UCD 3 (C Empey, J Henry, G Sarratt)

Newly promoted UCD produced a superb performance to deserve their impressive 3-1 win over the reigning EY Champions Trophy winners Three Rock Rovers at Grange Road.

Both sides were handing a half dozen players their first appearances for the club with the students fielding five former Rovers in their line-up. The students were the ones who settled first with Conor Empey – in his first game since moving from Rovers – poking home from close range for 1-0.

Ben Walker equalised in the second quarter but UCD pulled away after the big break. Jazze Henry fired home a cracking reverse-stick shot in the 38th minute from a cracking reverse-stick shot. And it was 3-1 with 24 minutes left when Guy Sarratt whipped a drag-flick into the roof of the net, another goal on debut.

Conor Empey celebrates scoring a goal. Picture ©INPHO/Bryan Keane (click image for more pics from this game)

From there, they were always in good control with Rovers having some good chances late on but strong tackles from Cian Murphy and blocks from Max Maguire ensured the win.

UCD coach Michael Styles was also in his first formal game in charge and he is excited about the season ahead with some strong additions to his line-up.

“We took in a lot of players, around nine players – two from Three Rock so maybe we did weaken our opposition today! We are starting to gel but it is just the first game of the league. We were always going to be excited, the task now is to keep that up for the rest of the season.”

The students face YMCA and Glenanne next weekend in a double-header which could have a big impact on their early season form.

“Double weekends tend to separate the teams very quickly – two tough games against YMCA and Glenanne. We focus on Saturday then recover for Sunday and go again. We want big games; this is why the lads are so excited to be in the EYHL. They want top opposition.

 “With the EYHL, there are a lot of Leinster teams in it now so most of them are derbies! Hopefully, we can use that emotion to help us rather than hinder us.”

YMCA 2 (T Brophy, H McCarthy) Glenanne 3 (S Brownlow, S Boucher, B Venter)

Stephen Brownlow’s cracking strike with the last touch of the game earned Glenanne all the points at a tie swiftly switched from St Andrew’s to Wesley College. Glenanne made the better start and they went in front when Brad Venter peeled away and got off a shot on his back foot to make it 1-0.

YM had a good few short corners in the second quarter but could not find a way past Leo Micklem and the lead was doubled after the main interval via a Shannon Boucher drag-flick.

Tony Brophy snuck the ball over the line to give YM a lifeline just before the end of the third quarter, his first goal since his summer move from Cork. And they were back on level terms when Grant Glutz crashed a ball into the area which fell nicely for Harry McCarthy – another new arrival from Waterford – to slam in.

That was with just two minutes to go but Glenanne nicked all the points when Brownlow thrashed in his goal for 3-2.

Corinthian 2 (J Perdue 2) Annadale 2 (S Cox, R Burgess)

Corinthian drew their first ever EYHL match as they played out a lively 2-2 draw with Annadale in front of a big crowd at Whitechurch Park on Saturday. The visitors went in front with less than five minutes to go to half-time following an attack to the right baseline which flipped up into Simon Cox’s path and he clipped in a lovely finish.

The reds responded in kind in the second quarter with Jack Perdue making in 1-1 wihthin a minute of the restart and he netted his second 40 seconds into the fourth quarter to build a 2-1 lead.

Ryan Burgess, however, dragged in a penalty corner with six minutes to go to earn a share of the spoils and a potentially important away point.

Peter Caruth did not play against his former club due to suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards last season. Ben Wallace was also suspended for Dale.

Monkstown 2 (G Cole 2) Banbridge 2 (C Curry, B McCandless)

Monkstown and Banbridge shared the spoils at the ALD Merrion Fleet Arena to get their seasons started with a point a piece, Geoff Cole’s double cancelled out by goals from Chris Curry and Bruce McCandless.

Bann were without Eugene Magee, Jamie Wright and Peter Brown for the clash which was Gordon Cracknell’s first game in charge since taking over from Mark Tumilty. Goalkeeper Luke Roleston was in impressive form in the early stages, denying Davy Carson and Ross Quirke before Bann went close with a Philip Brown corner saved off the line.

The tie continued to ebb and flow at great pace with goalmouth scrambles at either end before the deadlock was broken in the 34th minute. Jonny McKee created it, wrapped the ball around to the back post where Chris Curry was waiting to turn in the goal; 1-0 Bann at half-time.

Monkstown took up the pace in the second half and were back on terms within four minutes when Nick Dee took a quick free which Cole picked up, his first touch taking the ball air-bound and he fired into the backboard.

The striker doubled up in the 47th minute when a quickly taken sideline ball from Stephen Cole found Davy Carson who brought the ball along the endline. He picked out Geoff Cole to deflect in.

Bann replied in kind with 13 minutes to go when McCandless stole the ball off Dee and a quick pass to McKee lead to a shot which David Fitzgerald saved well but McCandless was on hand to tap into the net. The goalscorer would soon after see a yellow card and Alexander Tinney followed him off to reduce Bann to nine players but Town could not find the killer touch.

Indeed, McKee had the best chance to win it but he saw his one-on-one chance denied by Fitzgerald.

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