Men’s EYHL Division 1
Lisnagarvey 3 (B Nelson, P McKibbin, J Lorimer) Three Rock Rovers 2 (R Spencer 2)

Lisnagarvey came from behind to defeat Three Rock Rovers 3-2 at Comber Road in the sole game to be played this weekend in the men’s EY Hockey League with the hosts moving into a share of top of the EYHL standings with Glenanne.

It was a closely fought encounter with two goals for the hosts on either side of the third quarter break proving decisive. Rovers pulled a goal back with just over six minutes left but were unable to find an equaliser.

The Rathfarnham side went ahead from their first circle entry on nine minutes, some lovely one-touch hockey from Evan Jennings and Ross Canning providing the chance for Ryan Spencer to net at the far post.

Garvey levelled matters seven minutes later when Ryan Getty’s cross from the left was met by Ben Nelson who finished high into the net from close range.

After a relatively featureless second quarter, James Corry shot wide from a penalty corner and then Rovers keeper Ben Whelan saved at full-strength from Ben Nelson’s powerful effort from the edge of the D.

On 51 minutes, it was 2-1 to the Hillsborough side, Peter McKibbin scoring from the penalty spot after Corry’s set-piece shot had struck a defender’s foot.

Eight minutes into the final quarter, James Lorimer rifled home a penalty corner to make it 3-1.

Rovers reduced the deficit when Spencer got his second from close range from a rebound off James Milliken’s pads but it was too little, too late.

The top of the table in both the men’s and women’s EY Hockey Leagues could be in for a big shake-up on Saturday with Pembroke meeting Pegasus in the latter while Lisnagarvey host Three Rock Rovers in the former.

With a third of the season almost complete, the main contenders have started to emerge in recent weeks with Pembroke’s women looking to force their way into the reckoning this term.

In the women’s competition, four matches have been brought forward from December due to the Junior World Cup, meaning rematches from the opening days of the campaign when Pembroke drew with Pegasus.

The Ballsbridge club have steadily added strong players to their line-up over the past few seasons with midfielder Ellen Curran (from UCD) and defender Issy Delamer (Trinity) adding real quality this term.

With Orla Macken also pushing for inclusion in the senior Irish setup, Emma Buckley between the posts and the likes of Sinead Loughran, Aisling Naughton and Leah McGuire in the line-up, there is quality in each area of the field.

For coach Gavin Groves, he feels the side are in a good spot, one point behind Pegasus with four wins from six outings to date. A win on Saturday at Serpentine Avenue could potentially see them leap-frog their rivals and go top.

Pembroke’s Ellen Curran. Picture: Adrian Boehm

“We are happy enough with the form we have shown. We had a really tough start to the league so to be sitting in the top 3 at this stage is ok. Every week is difficult and brings a tough opponent but it’s good to be involved in such a competitive league.

“We know how organised and disciplined Pegasus can be so we know we will have to perform well to get the result we want.”

For Pegasus, their tricky forwards Taite Doherty and Lucy McKee have put in serious star turns to date this season to lift the Belfast side to the top of the table at this stage.

There is a wealth of experience at hand with Shirley McCay, Alex Speers and Ruth Maguire offering guidance to new stars like Niamh McIvor and Ella Armstrong.

Craig McGrugan took on the coaching reins this summer and is comfortable with how his side has progressed, saying: “It’s been a very competitive first third of the season with some very tight, exciting games. So far we’ve been making progress game by game but this weekend will be another step up. We will have to perform at our best to come back to Belfast with any sort of positive result

“Pembroke have an excellent side playing a very good brand of hockey. They are a good passing side so the contest in the middle third of the pitch will be key.”

There will be plenty checking their Twitter feeds for score updates just down the road in Milltown where Old Alex – equal second on 13 points – host Belfast Harlequins.

UCD have been the league’s entertainers to date, their matches yielding almost five goals a game. They host Catholic Institute at Belfield in a lunchtime tip-off, an important for the sides in fourth and fifth to keep contact with the leading trio.

Likewise, sixth placed Railway Union meet Loreto for the third time already this term; the first EYHL meeting was a draw while Railway prevailed in a shoot-out in the Irish Senior Cup so expect this one to be extremely tight. Cork Harlequins’ date with Muckross has remained in its original December date.

On the men’s side, there is just one game on the EYHL agenda from which any winner between Lisnagarvey and Three Rock Rovers will catapult themselves into pole position after Glenanne fell to their first defeat of the season last weekend.

It is a back match from early October when Three Rock were involved in the Euro Hockey League in Antwerp.

Lisnagarvey coach Erroll Lutton. Picture: Adrian Boehm

Garvey won their last meeting just over 12 months ago in a cracker at Comber Road 4-2 but Rovers have a much changed line-up since then with five players emigrating for professional hockey or work reasons.

In their stead, Ryan Spencer and Matteo Romoli have made big impacts since joining the club along with the return of Ali Empey, Mark Samuel and Andrew Keane from UCD.

For Garvey, they are more settled in terms of line-up with the three Nelson brothers causing havoc in the forward lines, going on a run of four successive wins in the EYHL.

Coach Erroll Lutton says his side have been “playing well for the last few weeks and we want to build on that in this next period with a run of games with no interruptions up until the winter break.

“Three Rock have certainly been playing some good hockey and scoring quite a few goals. With some new faces in their team they certainly seem to have gelled quickly and found some momentum and consistency early in the season.”

Rovers coach Elun Hack is similarly complementary of Saturday’s opponents, saying: “Garvey are a quality team, and their performance and results over the past couple of disrupted seasons, and before are testimony to that.

“They are a very well organised team, hard to score against, and very dangerous on attack, with some seriously good talent in their forward line.

“Limiting their chances and creating our own is going to be the biggest challenge for us… getting that balance right.

“Our team is coming together nicely; huge amounts of process have been made and some of the goals and performances we have put together recently support that. However, there is still lots of work to do for this group to reach their full potential.”

Three Rock Rovers Matteo Romoli. Picture: Adrian Boehm

Men’s EY Hockey League – day six round-up
UCD 0 Annadale 4 (D Tremlett 2, O McElhinney, M Robson)

Annadale landed their first men’s EY Hockey League victory in over three years as David Tremlett’s double put them on course for a big 4-0 victory over UCD.

Dale had been tough to beat thus far this season with four draws from five outings but an elusive victory had proven just out of reach in the Covid-effected 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons.

But this success puts them in the highest they have been since the introduction of the season-long all-Ireland competition, six points clear of the relegation places in seventh place.

Tremlett’s double in the 16th and 20th minutes laid the perfect base for the victory; the first came when Adam McAllister’s impudent flick from the baseline looped high off goalkeeper Matthew Hoolohan O’Brien and Tremlett was there to bat it in. He then finished off from James Clark’s run around the right baseline after a corner move was only partially cleared.

They had the ball in the net a third time when Chris Morrow’s crash ball in from just outside the circle was deflected in by a defensive stick; after a check to clarify if the ball was inside or outside the D, it did not stand.

UCD’s best chances saw Peter Lynch shut down by Sam Hamill who also dealt with a Harry Lynch drag in the third quarter. But the game was put out of sight when Michael Robson exchanged a lovely one-two and then shot into the backboard on his reverse for 3-0.

And Owen McElhinney closed out the scoring with a low corner push with 15 minutes to go.

UCD’s Sam Walker lays off a pass. Pic: Adrian Boehm

YMCA 0 Lisnagarvey 3 (M Nelson, O Kidd, B Nelson)
Lisnagarvey made it four wins in succession as Matthew Nelson and Ollie Kidd had Garvey 2-0 up before the end of the first quarter and the game was settled in the closing quarter by Ben Nelson. James Milliken ensured a clean sheet with a late penalty stroke save from Ben Campbell.

After an initial exchange of corners, Garvey went in front from their second set piece when Jakim Bernsden saved a corner but Ben Nelson retrieved the ball and squared for his brother Matthew to tap in.

And it was 2-0 in the 15th minute, an interception from a YM free-out being returned with interest with Daniel Nelson slipping the ball to Kidd to crack home on his backhand.

Garvey had a number of big chances to extend their lead the Y did almost finish the half on a high when Adam Walker saw his corner flick saved off the line. The Ulster side moved further out of reach when Matthew Nelson’s upright reverse-stick shot went high to the back post where Ben Nelson finished off for 3-0.

YM fought hard to get something out of the tie and Fionn Marriott earned the stroke but Milliken proved equal to Campbell’s low effort, getting down low to keep it out.

Corinthian 3 (C Futcher 2, M Neill) Banbridge 4 (C Rowe 2, P Brown, A Tinney)
Banbridge just about held on for their second win of the season in a remarkable contest in which Bann led 4-0 at half-time only to come under serious threat in the second half.

Philip Brown opened the scoring which was followed up quickly by a brace from Charlie Rowe – three goals in a seven-minute spell – and Alexander Tinney then added what proved to be a vital fourth goal before the big break.

Annadale’s Owen McElhinney celebrates his goal. Pic: Adrian Boehm

The second half was all the reds as Max Neill got them on the scoreboard before Chad Futcher fired home his fifth and sixth goals in the league this season from corners. But Bann held on for the win which lifts them up to fifth place in the table.

Monkstown 1 (G Sarratt) Glenanne 0
Guy Sarratt’s penalty corner piledriver 11 minutes from time saw Monkstown end Glenanne’s perfect start to the men’s EY Hockey League season. It was the only goal of a tightly-fought contest that has seen the Glens come back into range of the likes of Three Rock Rovers and Lisnagarvey while Town strengthened their place in the top four.

Three Rock Rovers 6 (M Samuel 2, E Jennings 2, B Johnson, A Keane) Pembroke 2 (A Sothern, G Chambers)
Three Rock Rovers eased to a comfortable 6-2 win over an understrength Pembroke who were without half a dozen players for the contest at Grange Road.

Rovers were 2-0 up in the first quarter as Ben Johnson’s third minute drag-flick was followed up by Mark Samuel popping home at the right post after a wave of attacks. Pembroke got one back when Julian Dale’s glorious long pass found Greg Chambers on the left wing and he put it on a plate for Alan Sothern to slide onto.

But Three Rock went out of sight when Mark Duggan saw yellow and in his absence, Samuel again overlapping on the right to intercept and thump home from the top of the circle before Evan Jennings scrambled in the next. Jennings then got a wonderful deflection from a pc move to make it 5-1 at half-time

The pace slowed in the second half but Johnson was denied another by the crossbar with another drag before Andy Keane got the Rovers’ sixth, a corner deflection from Jody Hosking’s slap.

Johnson was also required at the far end to deny a Sothern effort off the line. Chambers got one back in the fourth quarter from the second phase of a corner. Rovers were awarded a stroke soon after when Ali Empey’s shot hit a body on the line but it was subsequently ruled out for an earlier infringement.

** Zara Delany celebrates her second goal for Railway Union against UCD. Picture: Adrian Boehm

Women’s EY Hockey League – day six round-up
Belfast Harlequins 0 Pembroke 1 (C Foley)

Claire Foley’s first-half goal sealed Pembroke a narrow win over Belfast Harlequins at sun splashed Deramore Park.

It was a game of precious few chances and only one penalty corner which the hosts failed to convert late on. Pembroke got what turned out to be the crucial goal from the first opportunity of the game on 33 minutes.

Sinead Loughran picked up a loose ball 25 yards out and found Aisling Naughton who had two shots saved by Susie Taylor in the Quins goal. The second rebound fell to Foley who volleyed high in to the net from close range. Pembroke had the better of the chances after the long break with Taylor denying Naughton and Sally Campbell.

Quins will have been disappointed at their failure to create any genuine chances from open play in the entire 70 minutes.

Jenna Watt sees a shot saved by Emma Buckley. Picture: Billy Pollock

They were awarded the game’s only penalty corner in the 63rd minute and Jenna Watt had two efforts saved by Emma Buckley at the far post for their only shots on target.

The result means Harlequins slumped to a third successive defeat while Pembroke stay in title contention with the win they just about deserved on the balance of play.

Old Alex 5 (N Evans 3, L Tice, M O’Donnell) Cork Harlequins 2 (R Walsh, L O’Shea)
Old Alex remain with a point of leaders Pegasus as five first half goals saw them get the better of Cork Harlequins in Milltown. Lena Tice gave them an early lead from a corner to the left corner before Nikki Evans got the first of her hat trick when she dived onto the end of Sarah Robinson’s run and cross from the right corner.

The third goal was the pick of the bunch as Abbie Russell broke out of defence, picked out Deirdre Duke overlapping on the right. Her cross again found Evans sliding to get the touch in.

Ruby Walsh got one back for Quins from their first corner when she reacted quickest after Michelle Barry’s shot hit the first runner’s foot, picking out a nice angle to find the bottom corner.

But another Duke cross found Evans and Orna Bools in the middle with both going for the touch in, the former getting the credit for the final touch. Millie O’Donnell swept in another corner for 5-1 at half-time after Tice had hit the post.

The second half was a more even affair with Harlequins getting the only goal when they turned over the ball deep in the Alex circle and Leah O’Shea thumped home her shot.

Pegasus 3 (L McKee, N McIvor, A Speers) Muckross 1 (L Hanlon)
Pegasus maintained their place at the top of the women’s EYHL with a 3-1 win over Muckross at Queen’s. It was built on a super first 10 minutes with Lucy McKee breaking the deadlock with her fourth goal of the season and Niamh McIvor got the next soon after.

Muckross, though, reduced the deficit to 2-1 from a well-worked penalty corner move, switched left and then back to the injector Laura Hanlon.

Muckross on the attack against Pegasus. Picture: Billy Pollock

But Alex Speers made the game safe in the 44th minute when Taite Doherty produced a piece of magic, weaving in from the left sideline through a couple of tackles before delivering a backhand cross which the former Irish captain guided home.

The hosts held sway for much of the second half and Aoife Glennon did save a Pegasus penalty stroke while Muckross also had their chances on the counter but they remain on one point.

UCD 1 (S Thomas) Railway Union 2 (Z Delany)
Zara Delany’s double gave Railway Union their third win of the campaign and kept them connected with the leading sides in the women’s EYHL. UCD were the first side to go close when both of the Carey twins went close with Railway scrambling away the chance.

Railway, meanwhile, almost turned a UCD corner into the opening goal via an outstanding counter, created by Orla Patton’s 60-metre pass. The opening goal came when Emma Smyth’s driving run was followed by a slip pass to Kate Dillon who squared for Delany to finish off.

Her second came in the second half from a corner move, guided back to the injector’s area where Delany had time to control and flick high in off the underside of the crossbar.

UCD got one back with plenty of time remaining in the fourth quarter when Sophie Thomas controlled a looping high ball and cracked home. And the students threw everything into the closing phases with Michelle Carey’s high shot blocked by Riona Norton, Katherine Egan’s ball flashing across the face of goal and Sophia Cole’s last minute shot went over the bar.

Catholic Institute 1 (N Carroll) Loreto 0
Naomi Carroll’s single goal in the 48th minute gave Catholic Institute an important win to lift the Limerick side back into the top four in the table while Loreto drop a place to seventh.

The sole goal was a work of art, the ball being worked from right back around the back to left midfield and then back inside where Carroll spun into space and unleashed a fierce shot.

In the first quarter, Loreto had the best chance, drawing a cracking save from Pam Smithwick in the closing action. Carroll drew a high glove save from Lizzie Murphy in the second period while the Limerick side had a wealth of corner chances which they could not convert in the third quarter.

Smithwick got down low to tip away a Hannah Matthews corner shot just before the only goal.

Loreto had big chances to get level with a cross just going out of reach of Yasmin Pratt from the left wing while there was a big debate when Matthews smashed in a shot. The effort, though, was disallowed with the shot deemed to have been outside the circle.

The Dublin side had a couple of corner chances denied while Insta had two big chances to make the result more comfortable but Murphy was outstanding both times.

** UCD’s Niamh Carey and Railway Union’s Holly Jenkinson. Pic: Adrian Boehm

** Please note this article was amended/corrected at Saturday, 9.55am since originally posted on Friday evening

After the highs and lows of last weekend’s World Cup qualifiers, many of Ireland’s internationals have to quickly refocus on EY Hockey League domestic matters with team mates becoming rivals with just a few days turnaround.

In Sandymount, it is particularly pointed as UCD’s Carey twins Michelle and Niamh come up against their former club, Railway Union, who just happened to be coached by their mother, Una McCarthy.

Along with Sarah McAuley, they will face flying midfielder Sarah Hawkshaw though the students may be without league top scorer Hannah McLoughlin who missed the qualifier final due to injury.

Similarly at Rosbrien, Catholic Institute welcome back Róisín Upton and Naomi Carroll back into the fold for their contest against Loreto for whom Sarah Torrans leads the line.

For Loreto, their panel has strengthened with Sarah Evans coming back into the fold.

At Deramore Park, Irish newcomer Jane Kilpatrick -in Belfast Harlequins’ colours – will look to stem the forward runs of Ellen Curran for Pembroke.

All told, the league is at a fascinating stage with just three points covering first to seventh place and many permutations possible for another shake-up.

Insta and Loreto are both three points off top and keen not to lose touch with leaders Pegasus who face currently winless Muckross.

Old Alex are a point off first and will be clear favourites against visiting Cork Harlequins but the nature of the competition to date is it is anyone’s guess how things will pan out.

In the men’s competition, UCD and Annadale are both eyeing their first win of the league campaign in round six. Kevin O’Dea was on target twice for the students when they beat Trinity in the Mills Cup in midweek – setting up a tie with Three Rock Rovers – 4-3 to build the confidence.

For eighth placed Dale, they have proved very hard to beat in the league with four draws but they will be targeting some three-pointers to move them away from the bottom end of the table.

YMCA’s contest against Lisnagarvey offers plenty of intrigue with the Y boosted by a 7-1 win over Rathgar and the return to action of Grant Glutz with captain Sam Hyland also in the mix.

Garvey were without James Corry and Jonny Bell for their visit to Pembroke two weeks ago with Mark McNellis taking over the captaincy. They are on a three game winning streak with their refixed game against Three Rock Rover set to take place next week.

Corinthian’s Peter Caruth in action against Banbridge’s Sam Farson in 2019. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Glenanne have stolen a march on the rest of the table with five successive wins but face a tricky away date against Monkstown with player-coach Shane O’Donoghue the league’s outstanding marksman with nine goals already this season as the St Andrew’s side have stormed to five wins in succession.

For Town, they have missed the experience of goalkeeper Dave Fitzgerald of late through injury; they welcome back Jeremy Duncan and Lee Cole from international duty.

Fifth place Corinthian are up against Banbridge. The reds have enjoyed a productive season to date, picking up seven points to sit in fifth place while a 4-0 success against Monkstown in their regional cup gave them another boost.

Nicholas White is their latest arrival from South Africa to join Chad Futcher – scorer of four goals – and Ross Willis in the line-up.

They sit a couple of points and places above Bann who will look to the experience of Eugene and Owen Magee, Bruce McCandless and Philip Brown but Peter Brown is not named on the squad list for this one.

Three Rock got the best of Pembroke 5-2 in the Leinster Cup during the EYHL break and they face a rematch with the Dublin 4 side having goalkeeper Mark Ingram back available for the tie. For Rovers, Ali Haughton remains on the sidelines while work has seen Fred Morris return to the Netherlands.

There are also 14 Irish Junior Cup games on the agenda with six men’s and eight women’s games to be decided on Saturday.

Saturday 30th October 2021
EYHL Division 1:
Corinthian v Banbridge, Whitechurch Park, 4.30pm; Monkstown v Glenanne, Rathdown, 2.15pm; Three Rock Rovers v Pembroke, Grange Road, 1pm; UCD v Annadale, Belfield, 3pm; YMCA v Lisnagarvey, Wesley College, 3.50pm

Irish Junior Cup – Round 1: Corinthian 2 v Cork C of I B, St. Columba’s, 2.30pm; Cork Harlequins B v Instonians 2, Farmers’ Cross; North Down 2 v Avoca 2, Comber LC, 4pm; Railway Union 2 v South Antrim 2, Park Avenue, 3.30pm; Three Rock Rovers 2 v YMCA 2, Grange Road, 3pm; UCD 2 v Bangor 2, Belfield, 4.20pm
Called off: Cookstown 2 walkover Rathgar 2 scratch; Kilkeel 2 walkover Bandon B scratch

EYHL Division 1:
Belfast Harlequins v Pembroke Wanderers, Deramore Park, 2.30pm; Catholic Institute v Loreto, Rosbrien, 1pm; Old Alex v Cork Harlequins, Alexandra College, 1.30pm; Pegasus v Muckross, Queens University. 2.30pm; UCD v Railway Union, Belfield, 1pm

Irish Junior Cup – Round 1: Avoca 2 v Cork C of I 2, Newpark, 2.30pm; Corinthians 2 v Lisnagarvey 2, St. Columba’s, 12.30pm; Monkstown 2 v Genesis 2, Rathdown, 12pm; Ulster Elks 2 v Catholic Institute 2, Uni. Of Ulster Jordanstown, 2.30pm; UCC 2 v Ashton 2, The Mardyke; UCD 2 v Old Alexandra 2, Belfield, 11.15am

Men’s EY Hockey League – day five round-up
Annadale 3 (O McElhinney 2, A Lyons) Monkstown 3 (D Carson, R Nichols, D Nolan)

Annadale produced a remarkable comeback from 3-0 down to record their fourth draw of the campaign. Monkstown looked to be gliding to a third win of the season in the early stages. Mark Gibbons hit the post in the seventh minute from turnover ball deep in Dale territory.

But they only had to wait until the ninth minute when John Guilfoyle picked up a loose ball and fed Davy Carson who scored on his backhand. Rory Nichols nailed Town’s only corner of the match for a 2-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

David Nolan finished off a stunning team goal, started at the back and going through over 10 passing interchanges as Town looked set for an easy afternoon.

Hints it would not be so simple came just before half-time when Dale had four penalty corners in quick succession which were repelled. The hosts had lots of pressure in the second half and they were rewarded when Owen McElhinney turned in a cross from the left flank.

With Town going into card trouble, it was game on when Allen Lyons weaved his way out of some tackles and flicked in. The comeback was complete deep into the final quarter when Tim Cross fed Patrick Rose on the baseline and he centred for McElhinney to sweep in for 3-3.

UCD 3 (E Ramsay 2, J Menelaou) YMCA 3 (S Hyland 2, B O’Grady)
UCD snatched their first point of the season as they scored three second half penalty corners to come back from 2-0 and 3-1 down against YMCA at Belfield.

YM got off to a great start when Ben O’Grady dragged in a corner in the first quarter and Sam Hyland – fresh from his international debut in midweek – slapped home from the right of the circle after a swift overlapping run down the right.

Matthew Hoolohan-O’Brien kept his side just about in it with some corner stops to keep it at 2-0 into half-time.

The students, though, started to run up a healthy corner count and were back in it when a switch left was then slapped into the middle with Ewan Ramsay credited with the goal.

YM went back into a 3-1 lead in the fourth quarter from a Hyland stroke after Fionn Marriott was bundled over. But UCD replied within a minute with another corner variation, Ramsay again lurking around the flick spot to deflect in.

Jay Menelaou then got the equaliser when yet another corner hit the post and rebounded to him on the right to finish off his first goal for collidge. There was still time for them to earn another corner which YM defended well along with another chance from play while the Y were left to rue a huge chance in the last 10 seconds but Ross Henderson could not get enough purchase on his shot from Marriott’s driving run.

Glenanne 3 (S Boucher, S O’Donoghue, G Gibney) Banbridge 1 (C Curry)
Glenanne made it five wins in succession to maintain their perfect start to the season and five-point gap to the chasing pack. Shannon Boucher got the tie up and running with a third minute penalty corner goal but Bann responded immediately via Chris Curry – 1-1 after four minutes.

It was a very evenly contested tie after that but Glenanne landed the crucial blows with Gavin Gibney getting his first of the season in the second half before Shane O’Donoghue made the game safe with his ninth goal of the campaign in the fourth quarter.

Three Rock Rovers Jody Hosking gets away from Corinthian’s Robbie Clarke. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Corinthian 1 (I Stewart) Three Rock Rovers 4 (R Canning 2, A Empey, E Jennings)
Three Rock Rovers bounced back from their Euro Hockey League campaign in strong fashion to continue their unbeaten start to the men’s EY Hockey League, winning the Dublin 16 derby.

Quick finishes in the circles early in the first quarter from Ross Canning and Ali Empey had the visitors flying high at Whitechurch Park. At this stage, Rovers had more of the play but Ian Stewart scored via a deflection off Ben Ryder trying to cover to put the game back in the balance at half-time

Both sides played rather cautiously until quarter 4 when Corinthian took off their goalkeeper as they pressed for an equaliser.

But a defensive error let in Evan Jennings and he scored into an empty net; Canning then finished off a good move after Thornton had made a reappearance.

Pembroke 0 Lisnagarvey 3 (J Lorimer, O Kidd, B Nelson)
Lisnagarvey made it three wins in succession to rise to third place in the table as Pembroke remain in search of their first win of the campaign. After a scoreless first half, James Lorimer dragged in the first goal in the third quarter for 1-0.

Ollie Kidd then volleyed over Mark Ingram for the second and Ben Nelson concluded the victory with three minutes remaining.

Women’s EY Hockey League – day five round-up
Pegasus 2 (L McKee, S McCay) Catholic Institute 1 (N Carroll)

Shirley McCay’s late winner sealed Pegasus a hard fought 2-1 victory over Catholic Institute which saw the Belfast side move a point clear at the top of the EYHL standings.

It was a thrilling encounter at the Dub and evenly contested for most of the game after Pegasus had been on top in the opening quarter.

But Pegasus owed a debt of gratitude to goalkeeper Megan Todd who brought off two outstanding saves on either side of McCay’s 56th minute winner.

The hosts had the edge in the opening quarter without being able to capitalise on three penalty corners.

From then on it was end-to-end stuff and Hannah Kelly shot narrowly wide before Naomi Carroll’s effort struck the post after a swift counter instigated by Leah Clery.

Pegasus broke the deadlock in the 31st minute when Lucy McKee scored with a first time shot after a lovely passing move down the left flank.

Pegasus celebrate Shirley McCay’s winning goal. Picture: Billy Pollock

Laura Foley went close to levelling for the Limerick side a minute later after a swift move which saw team captain and Ireland star Roisin Upton feed Eimear Ryan to set up the chance but Todd made a great save.

But she was beaten when Carroll equalised in the 42nd minute with a carbon copy of the Pegasus opener, the Olympian firing home from close range after a good move down the left in which Kelly was prominent.

Carroll almost made it 2-1 in the 51st minute from a set-piece switch but Todd was equal to the task in the final play of the third quarter.

Ireland’s most-capped player McCay blasted in what turned out to be the decisive goal in the first minute of the final quarter, slapping the ball low into the net from her team’s fifth penalty corner.

Sixty seconds later, Todd again excelled herself with a fine stop after Foley had controlled the ball at the edge of the D before firing in a powerful backhand shot.

The game continued to swing from end-to-end but Pegasus held on, Lucy McKee displaying some fine ball retention in the left-hand corner to wind the clock down to bring the conclusion to a memorable tussle which was a credit to both teams.

Railway Union 0 Pembroke 1 (G Pinder)

Gillian Pinder’s third quarter goal got Pembroke back to winning ways and within one point of leaders Pegasus thanks to their narrow win over Sandymount rivals Railway Union.

The tie opened up with end-to-end hockey with lots of opportunities. Railway had a promising effort with a ball played from Jenny Long into an open Katie Fearon who shot just wide of the far post. Shortly after, Pembroke overturned Railway outlet and Sally Campbell struck a reverse, floating over the goal
Fearon went close on the reverse after good build-up play from Ali O’Leary while both sides had corner chances repelled.

Into the second quarter, Emily Beatty drew a confident clearance from Riona Norton as defences – aided by some super tackling – were on top into half-time.

The key moment came early in Q3 when Pinder intercepted a Railway pass between wing back and centre back at the half way line.

This led to a foot race with pacey Pinder netting under the outcoming keeper Norton. Pembroke looked poised and in control for much of Q3, steadying the game.

In the final quarter, Sarah Hawkshaw created lots of danger with her direct dribbling at the intensity increased and both sides dropped to 10 players at a time.
Kate Lloyd was denied by the impressive Emma Buckley on her backhand while while a corner chance went through their grasp in rousing finish with Railway on the front foot.

Catholic Institute’s Naomi Carroll scores an equaliser. Picture: Billy Pollock

Loreto 4 (A Taaffe 2, N Torrans, C Hamill) Belfast Harlequins 1 (J Watt)
Loreto extended their unbeaten run to four games with a comfortable 4-1 win over Belfast Harlequins at Beaufort. Aoife Taaffe’s strong finish and a first of the season from Nicola Torrans put them two clear at the end of the first quarter.

Taaffe added another for her fourth goal of the campaign before half-time and they never looked likely to let that lead slip. Chirstina Hamill made a wealth of fourth quarter pressure count for 4-0 before Jenna Watt got one back from a penalty corner deflection move with three minutes to go.

Muckross 0 Old Alexandra 1 (D Duke)

Deirdre Duke’s first goal of the season from Old Alex’s second corner of the game was the difference as the Milltown club move into a share second spot after five rounds of matches.

It followed a lively start with chances at each end with close shaves aplenty. Aoife Glennon produced an excellent save to keep out Alex’s first corner but Alex prevailed from the follow-up with Duke – who is working her way back after injury – getting the all-important touch.

It was breathless stuff with momentum ebbing and flowing with both sides enjoying spells of greater pressure. Both also had a number of corner chances but no further one could be taken and so Alex prevailed by the single goal. It lifts them to 10 points, equal with Pembroke and UCD and one point behind Pegasus.

Cork Harlequins 0 UCD 9 (H McLoughlin 4, S Thomas 2, N Carey, K Egan, R Kelly)
UCD were convincing winners against Cork Harlequins at a sun-drenched Farmers Cross. The first half was a closely fought affair with both teams playing flowing hockey; Harlequins were unlucky not to take the lead as a Michelle Barry deflection from a short corner went narrowly wide.

In the last minute of the first half, UCD made the breakthrough that changed the momentum of the tie. Following good work along the baseline, a cross found Niamh Carey unmarked at the back post, she made no mistake to give College the lead.

From the restart, UCD went on the attack and a shot from the top of the circle was prevented from entering the net by back-stick. Hannah McLoughlin slotted the resulting stroke to leave UCD 2-0 up at half-time.

The strong tackling and excellent work-rate prevented Harlequins regaining a foothold in the game. With confident passing and good execution on short corners, UCD ran out deserving 9-0 winners – McLoughlin adding three goals to her earlier stroke with Sophie Thomas, Katherine Egan and Rachel Kelly on the mark, too.

With Saturday rivals Pegasus and Catholic Institute set to face off at Queen’s, the top of the women’s EY Hockey League is set for another shake-up once again.

The two sides share first place on eight points after four rounds with a gaggle of four waiting in the wings a point back on seven as the competition takes on a hugely competitive early form.

For Insta, back-to-back wins over Muckross and Harlequins has the Limerick side flying high, doing so off the back of a miserly defence that has conceded just twice to date with Pam Smithwick notching three clean sheets.

Youngster Leah Clery has provided the ammunition up top, netting half of their six goals in what looks like a break-out season for her.

Pegasus, meanwhile, have played out four similarly close ties with never more than a single goal in the difference. A young gun to watch so far has been Ella Armstrong.

Of the close chasers, Railway Union and Pembroke meet in the Sandymount derby with both aiming to build on productive starts. Orla Macken is the dynamo at the heart of Pembroke’s midfield and comes up against her youth club for whom Kate Lloyd has been a constant threat up to.

Old Alex got back to winning ways last weekend against Pembroke and were bouyed by a first appearance of the campaign from Deirdre Duke after a foot injury. Lena Tice has missed the last few weeks, too, but could come back into the fray soon.

Their next task is a game against Muckross who are looking for a first win. The diminutive Julia Balcerzak has proven an excellent performer since her arrival from Poland and is one to watch.

Cork Harlequins are another side going for a first win with their developing side. Michelle Barry’s return last weekend was a big plus and they will need her and Yvonne O’Byrne on form to keep a talented UCD at bay.

Loreto host Belfast Harlequins at Beaufort in the day’s other contest, the latter bouyed by the form of Jane Kilpatrick in defence who has recently joined the senior Irish women’s training panel.

Sunday sees a healthy selection of interprovincial contests with Connacht facing Leinster in Athlone at Under-21, 18 and 16 level while Leinster South take on Munster in Kilkenny at 18s and 16s.

On the men’s side, Glenanne’s perfect record will be put to the test by Banbridge at St Andrew’s. For Bann, key man Jonny McKee picked up a concerning injury late on Tuesday night for Ireland against Malaysia.

For the Glens, they have already amassed a five-point lead with Shane O’Donoghue’s eight goals in four games putting him top of the goalscoring charts. With David Lawless impressing between the posts and Kevin Venter looking a very handy addition, they are going well at this stage.

The Marlay derby sees Corinthian and Three Rock Rovers face off at Whitechurch Park with both sides on seven points. The reds have enjoyed a super start to the campaign with Chad Futcher an inspired signing with his long aerial bombs and drag-flicking prowess.

For Rovers, they are unbeaten domestically but were given a reality check at the Euro Hockey League last weekend in Belgium, falling to Belarussian and English opposition.

Pembroke will hope to surprise Lisnagarvey at Serpentine Avenue to try and land a first win of the season. Despite their tricky start, new captain Julian Dale has been in inspired form, scoring seven times in four outings but they need to start keeping it tight at the back against one of the most potent attacking forces.

Annadale are another side looking to turn draws into victories as they welcome Monkstown to Lagan College. UCD, meanwhile, have had a rough start to the campaign but will aim to put it up to YMCA who have not won since the opening day of the season.

Elsewhere, there is action in the Irish Hockey Challenge with 10 teams playing on day one of the group phases.

Saturday 9th October 2021
EYHL Division 1:
Annadale v Monkstown, Lagan College, 2.30pm; Corinthian v Three Rock Rovers, Whitechurch Park, 3.15pm; Glenanne v Banbridge, St. Andrews College, 3pm; Pembroke v Lisnagarvey, Serpentine Avenue, 3pm; UCD v YMCA, Belfield, 1pm

Irish Hockey Challenge
Group 1:
Mullingar v Galway, Loreto College Mullingar, 1pm
Group 2: Naas v Waterford, Naas SC, 3.30pm; Wicklow v Midleton, East Glendalough, 1pm
Group 3: Antrim v Saintfield, Antrim Forum LC, 2.30pm; Armagh v Portrush, Ardmore, 1pm

EYHL Division 1:
Cork Harlequins v UCD, Farmers’ Cross, 12.45pm; Loreto v Belfast Harlequins, Beaufort, 2.45pm; Muckross v Old Alexandra, Three Rock Rovers, 1pm; Pegasus v Catholic Institute, Queens University, 2.30pm; Railway Union v Pembroke Wanderers, Park Avenue, 1.30pm

Irish Hockey Challenge – Round 1: Botanic v NUIG 2, Botanic Holy Faith Glasnevin, 12.30pm; Cork Wanderers v Tipperary, 2.45pm; Galway 2 v Athlone, Dangan, 1pm; Wicklow v Limerick, East Glendalough School, 3pm

Sunday 10th October 2021
Under-16 Interpros:
Leinster South v Munster, Loreto Kilkenny, 12pm; Connacht v Leinster, Athlone RC, 1pm
Under-18 Interpros: Leinster South v Munster, Loreto Kilkenny, 2pm; Connacht v Leinster, Athlone Regioal Centre, 3pm
Under-21 interpros: Connacht v Leinster, Athlone Regional Centre, 5pm

Tickets – Ireland vs Malaysia

Ireland’s men will play Malaysia on October 5 (6.30pm) and October 6 (6.30pm) at Lisnagarvey in the first capped international match to be played in Ireland since 2019. Tickets are available to purchase at the links below.

Tickets: €12 per match (each ticket entitles adult bearer to bring up to four children free of charge)

Under-12s must be accompanied by an adult; it is not possible to enter a quantity for the Under-12s without an adult ticket selected.

Women’s EY Hockey League day four round-up
Cork Harlequins 0 Catholic Institute 2 (N Carroll, L Clery)

Catholic Institute prevailed in the all-Munster derby in a tight encounter at Farmer’s Cross, moving them into a share of the lead after four rounds of matches.

Current internationals and Olympians Róisín Upton and Naomi Carroll were joined by former Irish players Pamela Smithwick and the dynamic Rebecca Barry in the Institute side.

Harlequins welcomed back captain Michelle Barry after illness to join the experienced Yvonne O’Byrne in midfield for Cork Harlequins. A scoreless first quarter saw Institute with the majority of chances.

Harlequins began to get a better footing in the game and would have been disappointed to concede a corner just before the end of the second quarter that gave Institute the edge going into half time. A well worked routine saw Naomi Carroll deflect the ball giving Harlequins’ Lorna Bateman no chance in goal.

Catholic Institute doubled their lead in the third quarter when a powerful breakaway was finished at close range by the energetic Leah Clery. Both teams squandered further chances as the game opened up, but Institute maintained their lead to give them a deserved win in this first Munster derby.

Muckross 1 (S Barnwell) Railway Union 2 (L Lloyd, K Fearon)

Railway Union got back to winning ways, emerging with the spoils from Grange Road from a corner battle with all three goals coming from the set piece. The first half saw Railway start on the front foot but Muckross replied in kind with plenty of their own attacks and a corner a piece before half-time.

The scoring began in the second period with Lily Lloyd netting early in the third quarter from a smart double-deflection move, going right before switching it left into her path in front of goal.

And Katie Fearon grabbed the next in the same phase, this time finishing off breaking ball from the injector’s spot from a scrappy corner that was initially blocked.

UCD’s Grace Keane celebrates a goal against Belfast Harlequins. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Sophie Barnwell pulled one on the three-quarter time whistle with a deft touch to Julia Blacerzak’s corner sweep to keep the game very much in the balance going into the last quarter.

Balcerzak did flash a shot across goal while Kim Baker also went close but Railway survived those efforts and then had a series of corners to copper-fasten the tie but 2-1 proved enough.

UCD 5 (G Keane, K Egan, H McLoughlin, S McAuley, S Cole) Belfast Harlequins 0

UCD moved into a share of third place as part of a group of teams on seven points thanks to their second win of the season. They led from the first quarter with Grace Keane applying a lovely finish from open play to get the ball rolling.

It remained that way until half-time before they really cut loose. Katherine Egan double lead and a corner goal from Hannah McLoughlin all but assured the points. Sarah McAuley got in on the act with her first goal since joining the student club and Sophia Cole completed the rout.

Pembroke 0 Old Alex 1 (E Russell)

Emma Russell got the only goal of the game as Old Alex got back to winning ways while Pembroke fell to their first loss of the season.

The early stages saw plenty of action with Mikayla Power’s strong shot drawing the best from Emma Buckley down low and the youngster also won a corner soon after. It was end to end stuff with the main chances coming from the set piece.

Pembroke’s best of the first half saw Emily Beatty pounce on a ball in midfield, slip to Sally Campbell whose long pass to Aisling Naughton ended with the ball flashing wide from a great move.

More corner openings came and went in the third quarter before the sole goal arrived just before the end of the third quarter. Jessica McGirr sent a shot across the face of goal where Russell was in the right place to send it home.

They were hungry for more at that stage with Leah McGuire making vital interventions to keep out Abbie Russell a couple of times. Emma Russell also had a great effort rebound off the frame of the goal before Pembroke came on strong in the closing stages, winning a couple of corners but to no avail.

Loreto 0 Pegasus 0

Pegasus remain in a share of top spot but with a different opponent following a 0-0 draw with Loreto saw them stay in pole position, now alongside Catholic Institute rather than Pembroke.

It was a scrappy, even game with chances at a premium throughout. The first penalty corners took until the final quarter to arrive with Pegs winning the first couple which Loreto snuffed out while Christin Hamill got the first for the Beaufort club in the closing stages but it deflected off a Pegasus stick to bounce out to safety.