Men’s EYHL & EYHL2 Round-up 8 March 2020


The battle to avoid the relegation playoff place is heating up with YMCA and Pembroke both picking up useful results in their bid to stay in the top tier of the men’s EY Hockey League.

For the Y, it was their second win in three outings and while they remain in ninth place, their form guide has given them a huge chance of avoiding the playoff after they beat Corinthian 2-1.

They trailed 1-0 at Wesley to a Craig Mackay goal after just seven minutes before penalty corner goals from Grant Glutz and Ben Campbell swapped the lead in the first half. No further goals came but there was plenty of drama as YM held on for the win.

Pembroke, meanwhile, saw Alan Sothern score twice in the last three minutes to earn a 4-4 draw against Monkstown, putting a dent in Town’s outside title aspirations. Pembroke led twice in the first half via Jack Ryan and Greg Chambers before a Gareth Watkins hat trick and one from Mark Gibbons seemed to swing the tie Monkstown’s way.

Lisnagarvey’s position at the top was strengthened by the outcome as they won 4-3 at Three Rock Rovers with two first quarter goals laying the base for the win. They hold a five-point lead over Banbridge but now with two games in hand over the nearest rivals.

Bann were 2-1 winners over UCD who fronted up well but could not catch a break as their tough run now extends to five defeats. For Bann, they have 22 out of the last 24 available as Josh Moffett’s double put them on course for the result.

Glenanne made it three wins in a row to move up to fifth place as they won 6-4 – for the second week running – against Annadale with Stu Ronan and Johnny McCormack’s goals in the last 10 minutes proving vital. Dale are now 11 points adrift at the bottom.

EYHL Division 1: Glenanne 6 (R Shaw 2, J McCormack 2, S Boucher, S Ronan) Annadale 4 (R Burgess 3, D Tremlett); Pembroke 4 (A Sothern 2, G Chambers, J Ryan) Monkstown 4 (G Watkins 3, M Gibbons); Three Rock Rovers 3 (R Canning 2, E Jennings) Lisnagarvey 4 (J Lorimer 2, J Lynch, D Nelson); UCD 1 (J Guilfoyle) Banbridge 2 (J Moffett 2); YMCA 2 (G Glutz, B Campbell) Corinthian 1 (C Mackay)

Next week’s fixtures

Saturday, March 14th: Three Rock Rovers v Pembroke, Grange Road, 1.30pm; Corinthian v UCD, Belfield, 2pm; Banbridge v Glenanne, Havelock Park, 2.45pm; Lisnagarvey v YMCA, Comber Road, 3pm; Monkstown v Annadale, ALD Merrion Fleet Arena, 4pm

Men’s EYHL – day 13 extended reports

YMCA 2 (G Glutz, B Campbell) Corinthian 1 (C Mackay)

YMCA won what could be a crucial contest in the battle to avoid the relegation playoff place as they came from a goal down to beat local rivals Corinthian 2-1 at Wesley. YM started the brighter, flashing a great chance across the face of goal in the first minute.

But, after absorbing a lot of pressure, the reds took the lead in the seventh minute from their first chance when the ball fell to Craig Mackay on the baseline and he slotted home from a tight angle.

YM ramped up the tempo – in what was a tie played at an intense pace – and converted two corners in the second quarter, the first from Grant Glutz and a second from Ben Campbell to take the lead just before half-time.

The second half continued at high speed with the reds trying to push on to get an equaliser but it was the hosts who had the better of the chances. They were awarded a stroke at one stage in a manic sequence of events; Ross Henderson chipped over his namesake, Charlie, but a flying Henry Micks tipped the looping ball onto the bar.

The ball fell to Ben Campbell who had the goal at his mercy but did not get a clean connection to his volley under pressure from some flailing defensive sticks and the ball bounced wide. A stroke was initially awarded but an umpires’ consultation saw a free out given instead, deeming the shot was not impeded.

Ben Cullen was also set through one-on-one but Charlie Henderson got out well to tip the ball away before contact. YM were reduced to eight players for part of the last five minutes with Iain Patterson, Matthew Walker and Harry McCarthy in the bin.

Corinthian had a corner repelled by Jakim Bernsden while Ian Stewart claimed for a stroke in the closing minutes but it was waved away as his shot went wide from close range.

Three Rock Rovers 3 (R Canning 2, E Jennings) Lisnagarvey 4 (J Lorimer 2, J Lynch, D Nelson)

Lisnagarvey moved another big step closer to retaining the men’s EY Hockey League as a strong start put them in position for this win over fourth placed Three Rock Rovers. They were 2-0 up in the first quarter from a quick strike from Daniel Nelson and a penalty corner just inside the left post from James Lorimer.

Evan Jennings finished off after the breakdown of a short corner to get the home side back into it, making 2-1 at half-time. Johnny Lynch restored the gap with a very well taken third for Garvey, controlling an in-field pass inside the Rovers half and powering a shot past Conor Quinn from the top of the circle.

Rovers again got one back thanks to a reverse-stick shot from Ross Canning as the hosts enjoyed a spell in command but were denied an equaliser by the outstretched James Milliken from a Harry Morris effort.

The last quarter was a tense affair as Garvey scored another short corner through Lorimer for 4-2 – making two from three corners. Rovers again got one back from a Canning stroke but Garvey held on for a deserved win, keeping them five points clear of second placed Banbridge but with two games in hand.

Pembroke 4 (A Sothern 2, G Chambers, J Ryan) Monkstown 4 (G Watkins 3, M Gibbons)

Alan Sothern scored twice in the last three minutes to earn a vital point for Pembroke that keeps them out of the relegation playoff place on goal difference, putting a dent in Monkstown’s title aspirations.

Pembroke had led in the first minute but a Gareth Watkins penalty stroke tied things up at 1-1 at quarter time. Simon Thornton’s heroics kept it that way and allowed the hosts to take the lead with Greg Chambers getting on the end of a great move for 2-1 just before half-time.

Monkstown, though, turned things around in quick succession in the third quarter when Watkins netted his second stroke in the 43rd minute and then completed his hat trick from play.

Mark Gibbons looked to have got the killer fourth goal with 10 minutes to go, making it 4-2. But Sothern is in a remarkable vein of form and he ran up his 15th and 16th goals in his last six games to make it a draw, the first an excellent effort from play, the next yet another stroke.

Glenanne 6 (R Shaw 2, J McCormack 2, S Boucher, S Ronan) Annadale 4 (R Burgess 3, D Tremlett)

Two goals in the last eight minutes saw Glenanne remarkably win 6-4 for the second week running to rise up to fifth place in the men’s EYHL table, eventually shaking off Annadale at St Andrew’s.

David Tremlett put Dale 1-0 up at quarter-time from play but a couple of quickfire goals from Richie Shaw swapped the lead by the 20th minute. Another flurry of Glens goals put them in what should have been cruise control by the 44th minute as Shannon Boucher and Johnny McCormack put them 4-1 up.

Ryan Burgess, however, promptly nailed a three-minute hat trick to level it at 4-4 with 16 minutes still to go before Glenanne steadied themselves with Stu Ronan and McCormack capitalising. After waiting four months for a win, it was their third three-pointer in succession.

UCD 1 (J Guilfoyle) Banbridge 2 (J Moffett 2)

Banbridge moved into second place on their own courtesy of Josh Moffett’s second half double at Belfield as the students woes continued with a fifth successive league defeat.

After a scoreless first half, Bann went in front in the third quarter and Moffett doubled up with three minutes to go. John Guilfoyle got one back for the students a minute late but too late to change the outcome of the contest.

For Bann, it made it 22 points from the last 24 available and coach Gordon Cracknell said it was a tough result to dig out.

“UCD were very good today and made it very difficult for us. We stuck at it and I think we got our just rewards in the end.

“We did start poorly [this season] but the team has really pulled together and are on a great run now. We’ve got to keep working at it and, if we do, we will be where we need to be. Unbeaten in Dublin this season and that is a big achievement.”

To that end, the adapted well with Alex Tinney and Sam Farson both out injured with schoolboys like twins Louis and Charlie Rowe featuring alongside their older brother Eddie.

For UCD’s Michael Styles he was frustrated not to get more from the tie, feeling they had their chances: “We’ve played really well today, defended really well and created so many chances. Three shots just hit their goalkeeper, we had one taken off the line – as a coach, you are annoyed to have lost but really proud of the effort and standard the lads played at. That’s the way things go.”


Men’s EY Hockey League Division 2 round-up

Cork C of I became the first men’s side to be guaranteed a place in the final four of the men’s EYHL Division 2, giving them the chance of bouncing straight back up to the national division.

They proved too strong for Instonians at Garryduff with John Jermyn’s hat trick proving pivotal in a 6-2. Jonny Bruton put C of I one up in the 11th minute before Chris Kirk’s penalty stroke levelled matters.

But the Cork side went on to score the next five goals with Jermyn and Bruton on the mark in the second quarter before Jermyn and Stephen Parker made it 5-1 by the end of the third quarter. Jermyn traded goals with William Robinson from corners to end it at 6-2.

The result opened the door for Railway Union to leap into second place in the group thanks to a 7-1 win at Avoca with Daragh Curley scoring three of them. They were in control from early on, leading 4-0 at half-time, and they never really looked back, rising to 13 points, two ahead of Inst who they play in the final round of group games on April 4th.

In Pool B, Julian Dale netted all four goals for Cork Harlequins in their 4-2 win over Kilkeel to move back to the top of the table after a hard-fought encounter. Kilkeel opened the scoring with a lovely David Finlay touch but Dale equalised from a stroke after a goalbound shot hit a player’s body.

Quins took the lead soon after via a Dale drag, the first of three. Eddie Agnew got a scrappy equaliser for Kilkeel after some pressure, the ball trickling over the line in the end.

But another Dale drag took the lead at 3-2 with eight minutes to go and while Kilkeel had two corners to try and equalise, they could not take them while Dale did take his chance.

Cookstown, meanwhile, got right back into the frame for a semi-final berth thanks to a 3-2 win over Clontarf. All the goals came in the first half; Paul Watt put the Co Tyrone side 1-0 up; Kevin Murray levelled and Ryan Millar made it 2-1 to the hosts with 15 minutes played.

John Mullins equalised for Tarf but Scott McCabe got what proved to be the killer blow in the last minute of the half. Clontarf stay in second place, however, by virtue of their losing bonus point from this game.

For both clubs, if they can record home wins on April 4th, they can go through to the semi-finals. Clontarf host Kilkeel while Cookstown meet Harlequins.

Men’s EYHL Division 2

Pool A: Avoca 1 (J Elmes) Railway Union 7 (D Curley 3, R Devlin, H Heisterkamp, M Fulham, F Keaveney); Cork C of I 6 (J Jermyn 3, J Bruton 2, S Parker) Instonians 2 (C Kirk, W Robinson)

Pool B: Cookstown 3 (P Watt, R Millar, S McCabe) Clontarf 2 (K Murray, J Mullins); Cork Harlequins 4 (J Dale 4) Kilkeel 2 (D Finlay, E Agnew)