Comebacks galore for Garvey, Bann and YM as TRR go back to top

Men’s EY Hockey League – day 10 round-up
Lisnagarvey 3 (B Nelson, P McKibbin, J Lorimer) Glenanne 2 (C Kennedy, G Gibney)

Lisnagarvey got back to winning ways at Comber Road after their draw with Banbridge a week earlier as a two-goal second half salvo earned them a narrow win over Glenanne.

Garvey twice had to come from behind to seal a hard-fought victory which saw them go into the EYHL’s winter break in second place in the standings.

The Hillsborough side trail leaders Three Rock Rovers by a single point after the latter’s win over basement side UCD.

In a ding-dong battle Glenanne matched Garvey in every sector with both goalkeepers excelling with some outstanding saves and even the most fervent home fans would admit the Dublin side deserved something from the game.

James Milliken won his personal battle with Ireland’s all-time leading scorer Shane O’Donoghue, keeping the Glens’ hotshot scoreless after he had hit a hat-trick in last weekend’s win over Annadale.

As early as the second minute, Milliken came to the rescue when he denied O’Donoghue from a penalty corner.

At the other end, David Lawless brilliantly kept out Andy Edgar’s effort from a set-piece in the 17th minute. Glenanne broke away immediately after a clearance off Lawless’s pads and Clive Kennedy gave them the lead from a rebound after Milliken had saved from Adam Clayton.

Two minutes later, Garvey levelled when James Lorimer rifled in a corner after playing a neat one-two with the visitors’ defence perhaps expecting a straight shot.

In the 23rd minute, Glenanne went ahead again when Gavin Gibney scored a fine opportunist effort, knocking in a left-wing cross from an acute angle.

Garvey then hit a purple patch, Peter McKibbin netting from the penalty spot in the 50th minute after ‘feet’ on the line after Matthew Nelson had won the award.

Barely 60 seconds later, Ben Nelson grabbed the winner from close range, denying the Glens the point they deserved on the balance of play after a pulsating contest which was a credit to both teams.

Banbridge 3 (C Curry, O Magee, J McKee) Monkstown 2 (D Carson, J Duncan)
Banbridge nabbed a last-minute winner to jump into the top four for the first time this season as Jonny McKee finished off an outstanding move to complete a famous comeback against Monkstown.

Town had looked in great shape as Davy Carson finished past Luke Roleston low to the goalkeeper’s left in the opening phases. And they were two to the good in the second quarter when Jeremy Duncan’s deflected shot found its way in and they held that advantage until deep into the third quarter.

Bann got their foothold in the tie when McKee stole possession and fed Chris Curry who finished off. They still trailed going into the last six minutes of the contest but Owen Magee struck the sweetest of reverse-stick finishes to tie things up and they won it with one of the last plays of the game.

It was brilliantly created, a high interception from Charlie Rowe to set the move going at full tilt, working it down the right wing where it was returned to the middle for McKee to finish off.

Pembroke 2 (C Hynes, J Dale) YMCA 3 (A Walker, S Hyland, R Henderson)
YMCA produced a brilliant second half comeback to leap into the top six playoff positions at the expense of Pembroke who would have done likewise had they held on to an earlier 2-0 advantage. As it is, the Dublin 4 side remain in the relegation zone on goal difference behind Corinthian who have a game in hand against Annadale in January.

The hosts looked good when Cillian Hynes got the only goal of the first half and Julian Dale extended the gap from a penalty corner in the third quarter.

But Adam Walker’s set-piece finish put YM back in the hunt and it was level at 2-2 a couple of minutes into the closing quarter with Sam Hyland on the mark. Ross Henderson got a hat trick against Pembroke on the opening day of the season and he was their tormentor once more, getting the last minute winner for the Y, making it two wins on the spin for them going into Christmas.

Three Rock Rovers 6 (R Canning 2, A Empey 2, E Jennings, A Keane) UCD 0
Three Rock Rovers returned to the top of the men’s EY Hockey League table for Christmas as five second half goals saw them ease by the challenge of UCD.

The students – powered by the excellent Kevin O’Dea and Sam Walker – made life difficult for Rovers in the first half at Grange Road but the hosts did go ahead when Ali Empey’s cross got a beautiful touch at the near post from Evan Jennings into the roof of the net.

Into the second half, the lead was doubled when Ross Canning was put through one on one and he calmly slotted home. Empey got his first of the day when he go to the left baseline, protected the ball well before dodging back and slipping into the goal. The forward was tripped for a stroke which Canning converted for 4-0 in the fourth quarter.

Andy Keane deflected in a penalty corner move for another one and Empey rounded out the win with his second goal, an absolute rocket hit from the right edge of the circle.