Glenanne move clear at top of men’s EY Hockey League

Men’s EY Hockey League – day three reports
Lisnagarvey 3 (B Nelson, A Edgar, C Chambers) Corinthian 1 (P Caruth)

Lisnagarvey recorded their second successive win to move up into the top four as they got the better of Corinthian 3-1 at Comber Road. After some early reds’ pressure, Garvey took control and took the lead despite a mistrapped corner with Ben Nelson making amends, beating Simon Thornton at the near post.

The lively Nelson was causing plenty of problems, winning corners and making a nuisance of himself, and they were soon ahead after a robust Andrew Sutton challenge led to a corner and a green card. In his absences, the corner was duly despatched into the bottom left by Andy Edgar.

Chad Futcher soon followed to the bin but, despite his absence, Corinthian went level with an excellent counter from a Garvey set-piece. The resulting chargedown was worked all the way up the pitch to Peter Caruth to finish expertly past James Milliken.

Play ebbed and flowed in the third quarter with no real chances until Troy Chambers combined with Harry Morris down the Garvey right. Morris cut through the defence, finding a great ball to Cole Chambers who just managed to force the ball over the line.

It proved the last of the scoring as Corinthian pushed Caruth further up the pitch in search of an equaliser. Troy Chambers’ fearsome run released Ben Nelson whose rising shot was still rising when it hit the fence behind the goal.

Despite Ryan Getty being shown a yellow, the youngest Nelson went agonisingly close to killing off the game but that cause was aided when Caruth took a yellow for the last four minutes and Garvey saw out the results comfortably.

Three Rock Rovers 2 (B Johnson, R Canning) Annadale 2 (T Cross, A McAllister)
Annadale ended Three Rock Rovers’ perfect start to the season but could have done even better had it not been for the heroics of Conor Quinn who produced a save of the season contender from Owen McElhinney to ensure a draw at Grange Road.

The first half led to an exchange of penalty corners with Tim Cross’s straight hit finding its way in before Ben Johnson equalised for Rovers with a more conventional drag-flick.

At the start of the second half, Three Rock were causing all manner of problems – despite the absence of Ali Haughton and Jody Hosking – with the always active Sam Hamill making numerous interventions, racing off his line to good effect.

Ross Canning did slap in for 2-1 after another couple of waves of attack but Dale were level before the end of the third quarter via Adam McAllister’s rasping strike.

From there, it was anyone’s game with chances aplenty with both times able to pick up overloads. Tom Robson saved a Johnson drag on the line while Hamill brilliantly palmed away from the same player.

Quinn then produced his magic, a crazy double-save before scrambling across goal to keep out McElhinney. A Rovers’ corner on the final whistle went incomplete and the spoils were shared.

Pembroke’s Alan Sothern takes on Shane O’Donoghue and Neil Byrne. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Pembroke Wanderers 2 (S Sullivan, J Dale) Glenanne 4 (S O’Donoghue 2, S Boucher, B Venter)
Glenanne continued their winning start to the season, going two points clear of the top following a 4-2 win at Pembroke. The greens were in clear control in the first half as Pembroke struggled to get up and running and they went in front in the 12th minute from a Shane O’Donoghue penalty corner, deflected off the first runner.

Mark Ingram denied him another soon after with a stunning stick save but it was 2-0 in the 23rd minute when Richard Couse’s cross was miscontrolled at the back post and Brad Venter reacting incredibly quickly to dive in and score.

Julian Dale was the spearhead for Pembroke and his hard running leading to their two main chances of the half. Into the second half, after Jason Rogan’s shot was repelled, Dale got Pembroke back into the game.

Alan Sothern won the ball on his own 23-metre line and played through the Cork man who was fully 45-metres out but raced through and placed the ball past the impressive David Lawless.

Dale’s touch to Scott Sullivan’s pass was brilliantly denied by Lawless soon after before Sullivan equalised in the 50th minute from a corner rebound, Dale taking the initial shot.

But parity last only a couple of minutes with O’Donoghue dragging in his second of the game and fifth of the season on the three quarter hooter. Gary Shaw was next to test Ingram and the game was put to bed when Neil Byrne’s cross from the left picked out Shannon Boucher and reversed home for 4-2.

Monkstown 3 (R Nichols 2, M Gibbons) UCD 0
Monkstown continued their productive start to the season with a strong 3-0 win over UCD at Rathdown. It took just a couple of minutes to break the deadlock, Jazze Henry’s smart reverse-stick cross guided in by Mark Gibbons after Jeremy Duncan turned over possession.

Duncan slipped another effort inches wide after a nice peel down the left channel and it was 2-0 before the end of the first quarter when Rory Nichols ripped in the first corner of the game.

UCD had the best of the second quarter, earning four penalty corners while Tim Cope also had a strong chance but Dave Fitzgerald stood up calmly to save whatever came his way.

But Town pulled further clear early in the second half with Nichols firing in another corner shot with a powerful flick. From there, UCD had their moments with Harry Lynch excelling once again at the back while stinging the palm of Fitzgerald. Town, meanwhile, had chances to extend the lead but found no further goals.

Banbridge 4 (J McKee 3, J Moffett) YMCA 2 (G Glutz, H McCarthy)
Banbridge eased to a first win of the season as Jonny McKee’s hat-trick underpinned their 4-2 success against YMCA at Havelock Park. The Irish striker started the scoring in the first quarter and got the next, too, before Josh Moffett stretched the lead to 3-0 at half-time. He completed his treble just before the end of the third quarter.

YM got two back in the last 10 minutes via Grant Glutz and Harry McCarthy bit it proved immaterial to the desination of the points.