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Lisnagarvey’s second-half display stuns Monkstown in league opener

Champions Three Rock Rovers give newly promoted Annadale a rude awakening

Lisnagarvey player James Lorimer in action during his side’s 4-2 win over Monkstown. Photograph: Presseye/Rowland White/Inpho

Lisnagarvey scored the first big win of the EY Hockey League season as two second-half goals put them out of range of Monkstown in a battle between two of last year’s play-off contenders.

A cracking first half had ended 2-2 with the lead swapping hands twice. But a James Lorimer penalty corner and a final goal from Andy Williamson on the counter won the day for Lisnagarvey who will hope this can kick-start a charge toward winning back the national crown.

It was the pick of the games on the opening day of the delayed EY Hockey League season.

Reigning national champions Three Rock Rovers gave newly promoted Annadale a warning of the challenges ahead of them as South African international Richard Pautz scored four times in a 7-1 debut win.

The tie was in the mix in the first half when Annadale’s player-coach Peter Caruth struck a minute before the break, making it 2-1. But Pautz struck three more times along with a double from Ben Walker to allow Rovers to cruise to victory.

Testing afternoon

Banbridge would have hoped for a slightly more testing afternoon as they swept to a 4-0 win over Railway Union. They now face a trip to Round 1 of the Euro Hockey League (EHL) in Barcelona with just one competitive game under their belt, one in which they never looked in danger from the moment Jamie Wright put them in front.

Debutants Luke Witherow and Alex Tinney stretched the advantage before Dane Ward closed out the win.

Banbridge will play Polish champions WKS Grunwald Poznan on Saturday in the EHL before a huge battle against Belgium’s Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles.

Elsewhere in the local league, Alan Sothern’s double saw Pembroke beat the other promoted side Cookstown 3-2 while Richie Shaw returned for Glenanne to net twice in a 2-1 win over Cork C of I.