Annadale produce another big comeback as Kilkeel, Inst and Bandon move ahead in EYHL2
Annadale produced another huge comeback to land what could be a very important point in men’s EY Hockey League’s battle to avoid the relegation places.
They trailed 4-1 deep into the second half at Whitechurch Park against Corinthian but fought back to level at 4-4 and move four points clear of the drop zone. For the reds, they went a point clear of ninth-place Pembroke but they will rue not making more ground on a day when player-coach Brinsley Powell was on their line for the first time.
Ciaran O’Shea gave them the lead in the second minute before Callum Robson’s cracker levelled the game early in the second quarter.
Parity was only temporary, though, as Ian Stewart’s deflected penalty corner put Corinthian back in front and a Peter Caruth bullet – against his old club – off the back of turnover ball, made it 3-1 at half-time.
Davy Howard’s penalty stroke seemingly had the Dubliners on course for the points but Robson’s second opened up hope and the belief – perhaps bolstered by a similar comeback against Monkstown before Christmas – was obvious.
Robbie Davidson got in on the act with seven minutes to go and, from a corner in the 67th minute, David Tremlett equalised the tie.
In EYHL Division 2, David Rae’s last minute screamer saw Kilkeel land the first win for any side in Pool 2, earning a 3-2 away win over Clontarf, putting them into a four-point lead.
The tie went tit-for-tat throughout with Alan O’Malley and Rae exchanging first half goals and the score advanced to 2-2 in the third quarter with John Mullins and Luke Russell trading strikes.
It left the game in the mix until the last seconds when Rae was seemingly running out of pitch but, from the baseline, thrashed the ball into the top corner.
In Pool 1, Instonians moved into the lead courtesy of their 4-0 win over Rathgar while Railway Union undid Cork C of I 1-0.
The latter contest was a fierce one with C of I having the edge in chances in a scoreless first half. But the tie was ultimately settled by a great piece of individual skill from David McCarthy who beat a couple of defenders before firing into the bottom left corner.
For Inst, they scored once in each quarter, Stephen Kelso getting the first, Tommy Orr nabbing the next just before half-time. Another from Kelso and a corner-switch slap from Ross Kelly completed the win.
Bandon took a big step toward topping Pool 3 when they came back from a goal down to defeat Cookstown 3-1 in west Cork.
Scott McCabe put the Tyrone side one up in the first quarter but his brother, Josh, was soon the busier of the goalkeepers.
Ian Perrott equalised in Q2 and he turned creator after half-time to set David Smith to put Bandon 2-1 up. Perrott again was crucial when he picked out Karl Smyth to deflect in the third and they carried that scoreline through to the finish.
Mossley, meanwhile, picked up their first ever EYHL win to give them a chance of pushing for a playoff place in March when the competition returns to action.
They led from the off against Portrane with Matthew Warnock putting them 1-0 up in the second minute. A full pitch breakaway was finished off by Ethan Clotworthy and Ricky McClintock put them into a dominant position with just 22 minutes gone.
Portrane fought back with Tom Mulvey and Anthony Glutz trimming the gap back to 3-2 early in the second half.
But another Mossley breakout led to a corner, won by Jamie Lyall, and Neal Glassey scored to give some breathing room. Simon Todd then put them out of sight with a corner rebound and a hammer-blow from the top of the circle for 6-2.
EYHL Division 1: Corinthian 4 (C O’Shea, I Stewart, P Caruth, D Howard) Annadale 4 (C Robson 2, R Davidson, D Tremlett)
EYHL Division 2
Pool 1: Instonians 4 (S Kelso 2, T Orr, R Kelly) Rathgar 0; Railway Union 1 (D McCarthy) Cork C of I 0
Pool 2: Clontarf 2 (A O’Malley, J Mullins) Kilkeel 3 (D Rae 2, L Russell)
Pool 3: Bandon 3 (I Perrott, D Smith, K Smyth) Cookstown 1 (S McCabe); Mossley 6 (S Todd 2, M Warnock, E Clotworthy, N Glassey, R McClintock) Portrane 2 (T Mulvey, A Glutz)