Lead changes in all three men’s EYHL2 groups as Cookstown and Dale advance in IJC

The lead changed hands at the top of each of the three men’s EYHL Division 2 groups with Railway Union, Clontarf and Cookstown now leading the way in their respective groups.

Railway edged out Instonians amid a deluge of rain at Park Avenue on Saturday evening with Mark English’s penalty corner goal the only strike of a tie slowed considerably by the weather.

The result lifted them above Inst who dropped down to third place on goal difference after Cork C of I won well against Rathgar 4-0 with player-coach Jonny Bruton on the mark twice while Simon Wolfe and Mark Gallagher chipped in, too.

Railway will meet Rathgar on Tuesday evening in their next tie (7.30pm, The High School) with Instonians hosting C of I on Saturday in the penultimate weekend of the pool stages.

In Pool 2, Clontarf put in a strong performance against a Cork Harlequins side down on numbers due to a number of Covid cases, winning 6-1.

It was 4-0 at half-time with the destination of the points assured. The victory edges the bulls into the lead in the table on eight points with Kilkeel on seven but with a game in hand.

Kilkeel are on the long road to Cork next Saturday before facing Clontarf on March 27.

In Pool 3, Portrane raided west Cork for their first win of the competition against previous leaders Bandon with a 2-0 victory. Imran Khan gave the Fingal side an early lead and Anthony Glutz fired home high into the net late in the day to take the spoils.

Cookstown took advantage of that result to record their third win and move into first place on goal difference, beating Mossley 4-1. All the goals came in the second half at the Glade with Cookstown going 2-0 up before Simon Todd – against his former club – got one back with an upright reverse with eight minutes to go.

But the visitors replied with two more efforts in the closing stages with Max Anderson, Michael Kerr, Jack Haycock and Mark Crooks all registering goals.

Elsewhere, Cookstown prevailed in the Irish Junior Cup semi-final as they beat Bangor 3-1 to raise hopes of a first title since 1985. They trailed early on but two goals from David Atkinson and a solo effort from Mitchell Greer turned things around.

Annadale will be their opponent after they beat YMCA 3-1 at home. Spencer Pinion and Fionn Marriott traded first half goals before Josh Woodrow and David Tremlett put Dale in the clear at Stormont.

Annadale will be looking for their fifth Junior Cup crown having won it four times between 2000 and 2006.

Men’s EYHL Division 2
Pool 1:
Cork C of I 4 (J Bruton 2, S Wolfe, M Gallagher) Rathgar 0; Railway Union 1 (M English) Instonians 0
Pool 2: Clontarf 6 (D Keuter 2, A O’Malley 2, S Grace, D Vincent) Cork Harlequins 1 (A Dale)
Pool 3: Bandon 0 Portrane 2 (I Khan, A Glutz); Mossley 1 (S Todd) Cookstown 4 (M Anderson, M Kerr, J Haycock, M Crooks)

Irish Junior Cup – Semi-Finals:
Annadale II 3 (S Pinion, J Woodrow, D Tremlett) YMCA II 1 (F Marriott); Cookstown II 3 (D Atkinson 2, M Greer) Bangor II 1