UCD and Lisnagarvey both continued their perfect records in the men’s EY Hockey League while Corinthian landed their first ever EYHL success in impressive style.
For Garvey, they continued their incredible start to the season as they inflicted a 6-0 defeat on reigning EY Champions Trophy winners Three Rock Rovers at Comber Road.
It was scoreless at the break in their tie but a hat trick from Andy Williamson – who started and finished the scoring – along with efforts from Daniel Nelson, Troy Chambers and Ben Nelson created the scoreline.
They move up to nine points out of nine where they are joined by UCD who won 4-3 at Havelock Park against Banbridge. The students built a 2-0 lead in the first 20 minutes via Conor Empey and Andrew Meates before Bann fought back to equalise as 2-2 through Owen Magee and Sam Farson.
But a Guy Sarratt double put UCD 4-2 ahead and they held on for the points despite a late Magee goal.
Johnny Roberts scored a double for Corinthian in their 3-0 win over YMCA to continue the reds’ impressive start to the season, remaining unbeaten with five points from three games.
Davy Howard’s 11th minute corner meant they led early on and Roberts struck twice in quick succession in the second half for the victory.
Glenanne moved up to third place as they stormed back from 2-0 down to beat Annadale 3-2 at Strathearn. Kent Irwin and Patrick Rose gave Dale a dream start but Stu Ronan got one back and Gavin Gibney and Jonny McCormack completed the comeback in the second half.
Ryan Spencer’s 54th minute goal earned Monkstown their first win of the season when he deflected in Jason Lynch’s cross for a 3-2 win against Pembroke.
Rory Nichols had twice given Town the lead only for replies from Patrick Shanahan and Alan Sothern to make it 2-2 at three quarter-time.
It was day one of EYHL Division 2 as well on Saturday with three of the four games settled by a single goal. Cork Harlequins backed up their Irish Senior Cup win over Corinthian with a 3-2 success against Clontarf with Brian Hayes-Curtin, John Whyte and Julian Dale keeping their noses in front from late in the first half.
Also in Pool B, Cookstown hit Kilkeel for six in a 6-2 success with Stu Smyth scoring a hat trick; the Tyrone side had trailed 2-1 with 22 minutes to go before going goal crazy.
In Pool A, Instonians and Cork C of I both won their respective ties 2-1 against Avoca and Railway Union. Inst built a 2-0 lead through Mikie Watt and Ben Palmer before Richard Couse gave Avoca a lifeline.
C of I fought back from 1-0 down to beat Railway Union with corner goals from youngsters Rob Sweetnam and Kevin O’Dea.
Men’s EY Hockey League: Annadale 2 (K Irwin, P Rose) Glenanne 3 (S Ronan, G Gibney, J McCormack); Banbridge 3 (O Magee 2, S Farson) UCD 4 (G Sarratt 2, C Empey, A Meates); Corinthian 3 (J Roberts 2, D Howard) YMCA 0; Lisnagarvey 6 (A Williamson 3, D Nelson, T Chambers, B Nelson) Three Rock Rovers 0; Monkstown 3 (R Nichols 2, R Spencer) Pembroke Wanderers 2 (P Shanahan, A Sothern)
EYHL Division 2
Pool A: Avoca 1 (R Couse) Instonians 2 (M Watt, B Palmer); Cork C of I 2 (R Sweetnam, K O’Dea) Railway Union 1 (M Fulham)
Pool B: Cookstown 6 (S Smyth 3, J Haycock, R Millar, K Black) Kilkeel 2 (J Finlay, D Rae); Cork Harlequins 3 (B Hayes Curtin, J Whyte, J Dale) Clontarf 2 (J Mullins, L Hayden)
Extended day three results
Annadale 2 (K Irwin, P Rose) Glenanne 3 (S Ronan, G Gibney, J McCormack)
Glenanne came back from 2-0 down to beat Annadale 3-2 as they raided Strathearn for their second win of the season.
The match started slowly with both teams having opportunities to go ahead. However, against the run of play, Dale went ahead in the second quarter to a close range reverse stick finish by Kent Irwin. The hosts doubled their lead a few minutes later with Patrick Rose tucked under Glenanne ‘keeper Leo Micklem after a good solo run.
The Glens managed to pull a goal back straight away with a swift counter-attack, finished off when Stu Ronan; he rounded the Sam Hamill to slot home.
After that, the Dubliners had a succession of penalty corners but failed to capitalise in the absence of Shannon Boucher (honeymoon) and Stephen Brownlow (away) who were unavailable for the match.
However, after an initially broken down corner, Gavin Gibney neatly finished in the bottom corner to make it 2-2, making it game on going into the final quarter.
Both sides remained on the attack and the game opened up. Glenanne found the winner after a neat exchange on the right-baseline between Neil Byrne and Ian Marron, the latter driving into the circle and crossing for Johnny McCormack to finish emphatically.
Lisnagarvey 6 (A Williamson 3, D Nelson, T Chambers, B Nelson) Three Rock Rovers 0
Lisnagarvey ran up yet another blistering performance to make it three wins from three and 22 goals so far this season, getting some revenge over Three Rock who beat them in both the Champions Trophy and Irish Senior Cup finals last year.
A week on from their Euro Hockey League heroics, Rovers faded badly in the second half as they missed the experience of Mitch Darling and Ali Haughton as a scoreless first half gave way to a Garvey goal-fest.
The first half was a high quality contest with Garvey edging the play but unable to break through the visitors’ defence. The second half was a different story, though, as Garvey served warning when they hit the post from a penalty stroke – won by Troy Chambers – in the 36th minute.
But five minutes later, the same situation occurred with Chambers fouled and this time, Andy Williamson converted for 1-0. Ten minutes later, Andy Edgar burst down the baseline and he laid up Chambers for a wonder finish and 2-0 at the ¾ break as Rovers were unable to finish off a couple of corners.
Garvey, though, were soon in rampant mood. Andy Williamson set up Daniel Nelson for another cracking finish. Ben Nelson’s quality reverse made it 4-0 before Williamson’s corner shot extended the lead to five. Williamson completed his treble with a late present.
Banbridge 3 (O Magee 2, S Farson) UCD 4 (G Sarratt 2, C Empey, A Meates)
UCD continued their awesome return to the EY Hockey League with a third successive win, keeping them level with Lisnagarvey at the head of the table. They got off to a brilliant start with Conor Empey putting them 1-0 up in the first quarter from the penalty stroke spot.
Andrew Meates added the next 20 minutes in with a great take and subsequent finish for 2-0 before Bann fought their way back into contention. Gareth Lennox – back in between the posts in place of Luke Roleston – kept out a potential third and a minute later, his side had one back via Owen Magee.
Sam Farson equalised when he squeezed in a shot for 2-2 in the 38th minute and it remained that way until the three-quarter time break. UCD, though, had won a number of corners and they took the lead with 11 minutes to go when Guy Sarratt fired in a drag-flick. He added another goal three minutes after for a 4-2 lead which clinched the tie in spite of Magee’s second of the game.
Corinthian 3 (J Roberts 2, D Howard) YMCA 0
Corinthian recorded their first ever EY Hockey League win with a comprehensive 3-0 win over YMCA who are waiting for their first point of the campaign. The reds had the lead from the 11th minute when Jack Perdue won a penalty corner which was converted by Davy Howard from a slip-flick move.
They had another couple of corners before the break courtesy of Ian Stewart’s skills but YM defended both well to keep the gap at 1-0 at the break.
But the game was swiftly sent the Whitechurch Park side’s way with two quick goals in the 40th and 41st minutes. Both involved Stewart linking up with Johnny Roberts on the counter-attack.
The first was a mistrapped aerial from which led to a quick free from which Stewart fired across goal, giving Roberts the chance to touch in. The second was something from nothing, Stewart taking down a high ball and then avoiding four defenders to drive wide and cross backhand to the waiting Roberts again.
YM replied and were initially awarded a stroke when Grant Glutz’s corner shot hit Henry Micks on the chest. It was quickly over-turned by the halfway line umpire Warren McCully, adjuding the ball to be going wide.
Glutz was causing problems as YM created plenty of pressure as time wore on but real circle penetrations were limited by the deep reds’ defence. Sam Hyland’s corner running kept out another Corinthian effort while super defending from Ross Howard denied YM a three-on-one opening with four minutes to go. He shone in tandem with Calum Adair and the ageless Glenn Holmes on his return to the first team.
Monkstown 3 (R Nichols 2, R Spencer) Pembroke Wanderers 2 (P Shanahan, A Sothern)
Ryan Spencer’s 54th minute goal saw Monkstown pick up their first win of the season as they got the better of Dublin rivals Pembroke at the ALD Merrion Fleet Arena.
Pembroke had taken the fight to Town in the early stages with a volley of attackes which were repelled in the first quarter with Dave Fitzgerald equal to a number of corners from Harry Spain.
The second quarter saw Monkstown go on the attack and they went in front when a Rory Nichols slap into the circle hit a foot. Nichols stepped up to drag in the corner.
Pembroke equalised four minutes before half-time when Patrick Shanahan scored from a near-impossible angle, hovering on the left endline where he made a quick turn and slapped in.
Town went back in front early in the second half from another Nichols’ corner flick but Alan Sothern tied matters up soon after amid confusion in the hosts’ circle, 2-2.
The winner, though, arrived just after the third quarter break when Jason Lynch picked up the ball on the right and slapped it to the back post where Spencer was waiting to deflect into the bottom left corner. They duly saw out the win for an important three points, keeping them unbeaten after three rounds of games.
EY Hockey League Division 2 – day one round-up
It was day one of EYHL Division 2 as well on Saturday with three of the four games settled by a single goal. At Steelweld Park in Pool B, Stuart Smyth was the hero for Cookstown, scoring a hat trick of goals from the penalty corner set piece to help them to a 6-2 win.
Smyth started the scoring in the fourth minute before two goals – by John Finlay and David Rae – gave Kilkeel a 2-1 lead. Cookstown lifted it and scored four unanswered goals, Smyth netting twice in four minutes to hand them back the lead, before Keith Black and Ryan Millar ended Kilkeel’s defiance.
In Cork, Harlequins beat Clontarf 3-2 in what was both sides’ maiden EYHL2 game. Brian Hayes-Curtin pounced on a penalty corner rebound for a 16th minute lead for the hosts; John Mullins equalised for the Bulls from a corner but John Whyte restored the Quins’ lead just before half-time from play.
David Palmer saved a stroke to keep them ahead and Julian Dale then made the game safe with five minutes to go from a corner. Luke Hayden made it tense with a late Clontarf riposte but the hosts held on.
In Pool A, Cork C of I came back from behind to beat Railway Union at Garryduff for a 2-1 success. Michael Fulham got the opener after a succession of corners. The C of I equalised came in the second half as a result of hard pressing, forcing a turnover and a corner which Rob Sweetnam flicked down the middle for 1-1.
And the winner came with five minutes to go from a switch move to Kevin O’Dea to get the Garryduff men off to a great start.
Instonians matched their efforts with a 2-1 win of their own against Avoca. Former international Mikie Watt opened the scoring in the first quarter and Ben Palmer added the next in the third for a 2-0 lead for the Ulster men before Richard Couse created a lively finish with 10 minutes to go.