Lisnagarvey’s lead at the top of the men’s EY Hockey League stretched out to eight points after their comfortable 5-2 win over Pembroke and Banbridge’s 4-3 success over Monkstown.
For Garvey, Andy Williamson’s hat trick of penalty corner goals made the difference as he put them on the board early in the game. Johnny Lynch added to that before Alan Sothern – who ended the game with 10 goals in four games – got one back but two more from Williamson and one from Daniel Nelson put them out of sight.
That put their lead at eight points on Saturday evening and Monkstown were unable to make any inroads on Sunday as Banbridge’s great start proved just about enough for victory.
They built a 3-1 lead in the first quarter with Philip Brown flicking in two corners to add to Josh Moffett’s goal inside the first 30 seconds.
Owen Magee banged in another for a 4-1 lead with 10 minutes to go before Geoff Cole and Rory Nichols set the nerves jangling but Bann held on for a fifth win in a row.
Corinthian were the other side to register a win as Ian Stewart, Glennn Holmes and Andrew Sutton scored in a 3-1 win at bottom side Annadale.
That success puts them within two points of the top four thanks to seven points from the nine available thus far in 2020.
Glenanne’s date with YMCA was abandoned in the third quarter due to a waterlogged pitch with the score locked at 0-0.
In EYHL2, Cork C of I were moments away from earning a guaranteed semi-final spot with two games to go but had to settle for a 2-2 draw at Railway Union. They remain top of the group with Inst moving into second place courtesy of an 8-1 win over Avoca.
In Pool B, Clontarf jumped up into top spot with a 5-0 win over previous leaders Cork Harlequins. Quins remain in second, though, due to Cookstown’s 5-3 loss to Kilkeel.
EYHL Division 1: Annadale 1 (W Aston) Corinthian 3 (I Stewart, G Holmes, A Sutton); Pembroke 2 (A Sothern 2) Lisnagarvey 5 (A Williamson 3, D Nelson, J Lynch); Banbridge 4 (B McCandless 2, J Moffett, O Magee) Monkstown 3 (G Watkins, G Cole, R Nichols); Glenanne v YMCA – match abandoned at 0-0 in third quarter
EYHL Division 2 – Pool A: Instonians 8 (S Kelso 2, S Hamill, M Watt, Brown, C Kirk, W Robinson, B Palmer) Avoca 1 (H Fowler-Hudson); Railway Union 2 (M McKenzie, M Fulham) Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn 2)
Pool B: Clontarf 5 (D Keuter 2, J Edmonds, K Mullins, K Murray) Cork Harlequins 0; Kilkeel 5 (D Finlay, E Agnew, J Finlay, M Henning, D Rae) Cookstown 3 (S Smith, S McCabe, R Miller)
Next week’s men’s EYHL fixtures
Saturday, February 22nd: Glenanne v Pembroke, St Andrew’s, 2.45pm; Monkstown v Corinthian, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, 2.30pm; Three Rock Rovers v Banbridge, Grange Road, 1.30pm; YMCA v UCD, Wesley College, 2.15pm
Sunday, February 23: UCD v Three Rock Rovers, Belfield, 1.30pm
Men’s EY Hockey League – day 10 extended reports
Saturday: Pembroke 2 (A Sothern 2) Lisnagarvey 5 (A Williamson 3, D Nelson, J Lynch)
Lisnagarvey ended the weekend eight points clear as Andy Williamson’s hat trick helped them to a 5-2 win over Pembroke at Serpentine Avenue. They raced into an early 2-0 lead with Williamson’s drag-flick soon followed up by Johnny Lynch’s great solo run from halfway, riding a few tackles before finishing off.
Pembroke were in the ascendancy after that but could not make any inroads when Garvey were reduced to 10 men for 10 minutes before the game settled into a midfield battle leading up to half-time.
Alan Sothern halved the deficit early in the second half but Daniel Nelson’s rocket to the roof of the goal put Garvey back in the clear and a second Williamson corner made it 4-1. He completed his treble in the final quarter where Sothern also netted what was his 10th goal in four games but it proved to no avail.
Annadale 1 (W Aston) Corinthian 3 (I Stewart, G Holmes, A Sutton)
Corinthian closed the gap to the top four playoff places with a comfortable win at Strathearn over bottom side Annadale as their good run of form continues, making it seven points out of nine in 2020.
Ian Stewart put them in front after just three minutes before Glenn Holmes rolled back the years for 2-0 at the end of the first half. Andrew Sutton fired in a cracking third and while Will Aston nicked one back on three-quarter time, the Whitechurch reds were well on course to their fourth win of the season.
Glenanne v YMCA – match abandoned at 0-0 in third quarter
Glenanne and YMCA’s tie at St Andrew’s was abandoned with the score at 0-0 in the third quarter due a water-logged pitch. A new date for the refixed game which will be played in its entirety will now be sought.
Sunday: Banbridge 4 (B McCandless 2, J Moffett, O Magee) Monkstown 3 (G Watkins, G Cole, R Nichols)
Banbridge made it fives on the bounce – scoring 31 goals in the process – with a 4-3 win over second-plaved Monkstown, surviving a late fright after they had built an imposing lead.
Josh Moffett made it 1-0 after just 30 seconds before Philip Brown pushed in a penalty corner for 2-0. Town had already threatened with Luke Roleston making a series of key saves before the Dubliners got one back from a mistake in defence, Gareth Watkins the recipient for 2-1 in the 14th minute.
But another Brown corner goal extended the lead again to 3-1 which they held through to half-time and throughout the third quarter. Owen Magee seemingly made the game safe when he drilled into the bottom corner with 10 minutes left but corner goals from Geoff Cole and Rory Nichols trimmed the gap to 4-3 with time running out. Bann held on and their winning streak remains in tact as they sit in third place on their own now.
EYHL Division 2 round-up
Cork C of I were within moments of copper-fastening a semi-final date only for Michael Fulham’s late goal to earn Railway Union a 2-2 draw in Pool A of the men’s EYHL Division 2.
John Jermyn’s pair of penalty corners had C of I on course for a fourth successive win in the group but Fulham popped up with a corner goal in the last two minutes to level the game. It leaves C of I needing a draw from either of their final two games but they could still qualify without that should other results pan out in their favour.
Elsewhere, Instonians eased by the challenge of Avoca with seven different scorers on the list against Avoca 8-1 at Shaw’s Bridge. Inst move into second place on their own, three points back from C of I but two clear of Railway. Avoca are eliminated as a result.
In Pool B, Clontarf are now in pole position after they jumped from third to first place in the group with a 5-0 win over Cork Harlequins. Jordan Edmonds set them on their way when he turned over the ball, dribbled to the edge of the D and unleashed a powerful shot for 1-0.
A Davyn Keuter drag-flick and a Kevin Mullins reverse made it 3-0 before half-time in the midst of some torrential rain which necessitated an extended half-time break with excess water cleared by volunteers at Mount Temple.
Keuter got the fourth goal before Kevin Murray finished off a lovely attacking move along the baseline. The bulls go up to 11 points, one ahead of Harlequins who remain in the playoff spots after Kilkeel got a surprise win against Cookstown 5-3.
The two Ulster sides are now on seven points with a gap to try and close.