Monkstown stun Lisnagarvey in final play as Three Rock move top

Men’s EY Hockey League – day eight round-up
Monkstown 4 (G Sarratt 2, M Gibbons, D Carson) Lisnagarvey 3 (T Chambers, D Nelson, J Lorimer)

Monkstown won an exhilarating contest against Lisnagarvey with the last touch of the game as Davy Carson swooped to flick in a corner rebound at the death. It was the second time in three outings Town have beaten the side sitting top of the table at the start of the day’s play, having defeated Glenanne a few weeks back.

They got off to a dream start with David Cole’s slap from halfway finding Jeremy Duncan on the baseline; he swept across to Guy Sarratt arriving at the back post on the slide to sweep in.

And Town produced a wealth of chances in an electic start with James Milliken saving well from a clean-through Carson, Jazze Henry and Jeremy Duncan. At the far end, Dave Fitzgerald was in outstanding form as his long legs kept Ben Nelson out on more than one occasion.

Troy Chambers levelled with an excellent trap to get the ball out of his feet and smack home on the turn but Monkstown were back in front via Mark Gibbons when David Nolan drove forcefully into the circle and the young forward finished off.

They looked well in control when Sarratt’s second from a corner drag-flick put them 3-1 up but Garvey came on strong in the fourth quarter with waves of attacks. Fitzgerald tipped a Chambers strike over the bar before Ben Nelson’s beautiful dinked finish from Peter McKibbin’s pass got them back in range.

James Lorimer’s drag-flick then tied up the game at 3-3 but Garvey got into foul trouble in the closing minutes and Monkstown took full advantage. They won a final play corner which Sarratt dragged and Milliken saved but it fell to Gibbons who played into the middle for Carson to finish off.

Pembroke 0 Annadale 4 (T Cross 2, M Robson, O McElhinney)
Annadale picked up their second 4-0 win of the campaign, overturning a 5-1 defeat to the same opponent in the Irish Senior Cup last month to win comfortably at Serpentine Avenue.

In the early exchanges, Pembroke had the first chance with Julian Dale’s reverse hitting the side-board while Dale had two corners go by. The Ulster side went in front in the 14th minute when Michael Robson pinched the ball on halfway and played a perfect one-two with Robbie Davidson who laid on an inviting pass for the international midfielder to finish off.

Sam Hamill pulled off a great save from Nick Burns after Dale brought out his bag of tricks but Pembroke did miss out on the services of Alan Sothern up front. And Dale went two clear from their third corner as he initially shaped to shoot but ducked left and despite seemingly slipping, his backhand swipe had enough to make it in.

Cross’s hit led to the next, Mark Ingram saving but only as far as Owen McElhinney who emphatically spanked into the top corner. Pembroke did create a decent amount with Philip Forster’s shot brilliantly denied by Hamill.

But the game was well and truly put to bed when Cross tore out of defence, laying off to Robson and then continuing his run, eventually cracking home on his backhand in the 37th minute.

The game became fractious after that with Alex Burns and Robson taking yellows for an altercation while James Clark followed to the bin soon after. Later, Nick Burns and David Nicholl would also spend time on the side on yellows. Pembroke should have got one back from Andy Colton’s cross but contrived to miss out with two at the back post unable to turn home. The ever-dangerous Dale – playing the second half with a large bandage on his head – whipped a corner over the bar while McElhinney drew the best from Ingram.

Three Rock Rovers 4 (A Empey 2, R Spencer, B Johnson) YMCA 1 (B Campbell)
Four first half goals saw Three Rock Rovers ease to a comfortable win over YMCA at Grange Road to rise to 19 points from their eight games to date. They were in front inside four minutes when Ali Empey got a guiding touch to Mark Samuel’s right-wing cross.

Ryan Spencer followed up his own shot – saved initially by Jakim Bernsden – to get around the back and lift in from an acute angle for 2-0 in the 10th minute. And they closed out a dominant first half with further goals in quick succession from Ben Johnson’s penalty corner drag-flick and Empey’s second of the day from close range soon after.

YMCA’s Peabo Lembethe gets a stick in as Ben Johnson attempts a shot. Picture: Adrian Boehm

In between, Empey had also hit the bar while Spencer hit the inside of the post in the third quarter before Ben Chadwick cleared from the line. YM, though, did have stronger spells in the second half and they ran up six penalty corners, drawing a first save from Conor Quinn via Grant Glutz with 20 minutes to go.

Ben Campbell got them on the scoreboard with 14 minutes to go and Ethan McInerney’s low shot went close to getting another back but Rovers remained out of reach.

Banbridge 3 (O Magee, L Witherow, A Tinney) UCD 0
Banbridge made it three wins in a row and four for the season with a controlled 3-0 win over UCD at Havelock Park to strengthen their place in the top five. After a scoreless first quarter, Owen Magee opened the scoring with a sweet reverse for 1-0 and Luke Witherow added the next following some excellent pressing which led to steal and a finish into an open net.

Alexander Tinney became the second ex-Raphoe man on the score sheet when he whipped home a drag-flick for the third in the third quarter and that was how it remained as Luke Roleston completed his first clean sheet of the season.

Corinthian 0 Glenanne 1 (S O’Donoghue)
Shane O’Donoghue’s ninnth minute penalty stroke got Glenanne back to winning ways as they defeated Corinthian 1-0 at Whitechurch Park. The loss was the reds fourth successive setback at home.

Both teams came into the match off a weak run of form, looking to turn the ship around and Glens task was made that bit harder with the absence of key figures Shannon Boucher, Richard Couse and Richie Shaw as well as Rowland Rixon-Fuller who continues his rehab from a long term injury.

Glenanne started the match stronger with Adam Clayton winning a penalty stroke after a serious foul in the circle; O’Donoghue slotting the flick high into the roof of the net. In a strange turn of events however, the match was delayed by several minutes whilst one of the umpires received medical treatment eventually being replaced. Corinthian worked their way back into the match, with particularly good work from Ian Stewart and Nic White however Glenanne managed to withstand the pressure.

In the closing moments of the second quarter, a low cross from Brad Venter whizzed across the face of goal with the touch from Johnny McCormack unable to direct it goalwards. The half ended 1-0 to the visitors.

Glenanne looked to up the ante in the second half, creating several chances to score- through two corners and an open play deflection all missing the final important touch. Corinthian were not out of the match themselves and had a succession of penalty corners in the final stages of the match, but unable to execute, the first being run down and re-awarded whilst the second saw the dragflick fired wide of David Lawless’ right post in the Glenanne goal.