Glenanne miss chance to double their lead in EY Hockey League
Side levelled twice thanks to goals from Shane O’Donoghue to draw with Monkstown
Glenanne star Shane O’Donoghue in action for Ireland. He scored twice against Monkstown to seal a draw for his side. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
The weather conditions in Ulster meant that it was the sole game to get the go-ahead and offered the Glens the chance of moving six points clear.
But they met a Monkstown side who were able to welcome back Cole brothers Stephen and Geoff a week after Davy Carson returned from injury.
Those boosts gave the mid-table side a much-improved line-up and the increased confidence showed in the first quarter, taking the lead through a Guy Sarratt drag-flick.
Shane O’Donoghue levelled by half-time but Monkstown returned to the lead five minutes into the second half courtesy of Andrew Ward’s sharp reactions.
O’Donoghue slammed in a second from a penalty corner rebound on his backhand for 2-2. Monkstown were decent value for their draw, though, inching closer to the top four.
For Glenanne, it puts them four points clear of Three Rock Rovers at the top but Lisnagarvey are lurking in third with two games in hand, meaning there is plenty of intrigue with one round to go before the Christmas break.
Garvey’s date with Annadale and Banbridge’s game with Cookstown were deferred due to snowbound pitches as was the already rescheduled Irish Senior Cup tie between Mossley and Belfast Harlequins.
Those cancellations have led to the almost annual calls for a winter break. Ireland remains the only country in Europe that still plays outdoors in December with a round or two usually lost to the conditions, leading to fixture congestion in the new year.
There are already other outstanding Irish Senior Cup ties while the issue is further complicated by the Irish men’s team taking in a warm-weather training camp in January and playing in the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament in March. During those times, the league goes on hold, making for a narrow window for refixes.