Glenanne moved a point clear at the top of the men’s EY Hockey League as they held on for a 2-2 draw with Lisnagarvey in one of the two games in the competition to survive the frost on Saturday.
The St Andrew’s hosts took the lead in the early stages when Cedric Jakobi’s drag-flick hit the Garvey post-man’s foot on the line. Player-coach Joe Brennan stepped off the bench to score the ensuing penalty stroke before returning to the bench with 1-0 safely on the board.
Jakobi fired another down the same line for 2-0, his flick going in off the post this time for a big early advantage.
The Comber Road side, however, started to work their way back into the game with Brennan making a brilliant save off the line and Richard Couse having to scramble in defence.
The goal was coming, though, and James Lorimer’s penalty corner shot found its way in off a defensive block following a lovely switch at the top of the circle.
Matthew Nelson then levelled the game with a brilliant touch from a low drag-flick to make it 2-2, a big momentum swing before half-time as the Glens had a golden chance to make it 3-1 seconds before the leveller.
The Ulster side continued to press forward in the second half, putting the hosts under pressure, particularly when Gary Shaw and Shannon Boucher spent time in the sin-bin. Jakobi also saw yellow late on while Mark McNellis had to put in an unreal pick to deny the Glens a huge chance in the closing stages, keeping the game level to the final whistle.
The draw sees Glenanne up to 16 points, one clear of Banbridge and Pembroke but with extra games played compared to both.
At Strathearn, Annadale recorded a 3-1 win over bottom side YMCA to move up to fourth place in the league. David Tremlett put Dale in front in the opening quarter before Ryan Burgess got the first of his two goals before half-time, a lead they held into the final quarter.
Burgess and Thom Ritchie exchanged goals in the final quarter as Dale recorded their fourth win out of eight, jumping up a couple of places in the table.
YM are back in action on Tuesday evening against Three Rock Rovers at Grange Road. Rovers game at Cookstown was cancelled due to the frosty conditions over the weekend as was Banbridge’s game Pembroke and Monkstown’s tie against Cork C of I.
All four of the scheduled women’s EY Hockey League Division 2 games were called off due to the frosty conditions around the island with new dates to be sought.
Despite somewhat of a slow start to the second half of the season caused by country-side frost, certainty is assured as to where the EY Champions Trophy will take place this year. Following the laying of their new pitch, Banbridge Hockey Club will take up hosting duties for the end of season showcase event on May 4th and 5th. Banbridge have proved themselves highly capable and enthusiastic hosts, having previously hosted the EY Champions Trophy and Eurohockey League Round 1.
EY Hockey League – Round 9: Annadale 3 (R Burgess 2, C Tremlett) YMCA 1 (T Ritchie); Glenanne 2 (J Brennan, C Jakobi) Lisnagarvey 2 (J Lorimer, M Nelson)
Postponed: Cookstown v Three Rock Rovers; Banbridge v Pembroke; Monkstown v Cork C of I
Pool 1, postponed: Greenfields v Queens University, Corinthian v Trinity
Pool 2, postponed: Dungannon vs NUIG, Monkstown v Lurgan