Men’s EY Hockey League round-up: Rovers draw allows Glenanne to take top spot

Garvey held by Banbridge as Pembroke open up a healthy gap above bottom side UCD

For a third time this season, a Monkstown performance has knocked the current first placed side off top as they drew 1-1 with Three Rock Rovers at Grange Road with Glenanne returning to the top as a result

For the Glens, some last second magic from Shane O’Donoghue saw them edge out Annadale 3-2, completing his hat-trick with the last play of the game.

And the Tallaght club profited as their nearest rivals both drew, allowing them to leap back into first with Lisnagarvey also tying 2-2 with Banbridge.

Previous leaders Rovers rescued a point with three minutes to go against ‘Town with three minutes to go but also almost stole all the points when James Walker pinged the underside of the crossbar in the last minute.


Both sides were understrength with 'Town missing David Nolan, Jazze Henry, Nick Dee and Andrew Fogarty for the tie while Ben Johnson was missing for Rovers with Ben Ryder and Mark Samuel not lasting the half due to injuries.

Rovers had the best of the first half hour with Dave Fitzgerald producing a fine performance, the pick of the early interventions a scramble away a chance from Evan Jennings who also shot inches wide.

‘Town survived 12 minutes of suspensions before returning to 11 players with devastating effect just before half time with a pitch-length move, starting with a turnover in their own defensive left corner which was transferred out to Rory Nichols charging at pace. His cross found Guy Sarratt on the left of the D and he shot home.

The Rathdown club carried that upper hand into the third quarter with a couple of near misses from Sarratt and Jeremy Duncan. Rovers, though, threw everything forward in the last 10 minutes with Fitzgerald producing the pick of his saves from Ali Haughton before Canning equalised with a touch to Jody Hosking's corner power-slap to share the spoils.

Garvey were held to a 2-2 draw by fifth-placed Banbridge in a high octane affair. Ben Nelson had the hosts 1-0 up before youngsters Chris Curry and Louis Rowe swapped the lead in Bann’s favour. Ollie Kidd’s fortuitous strike meant a share of the spoils.

That late game was brought forward by an hour to 5pm to allow the game to go ahead as six Covid cases in the top umpire panel's ranks along with an injury meant a number of hastily rearranged appointments. It is a testament to the ingenuity of the Irish Hockey Umpires Association to rejig their placements along with the agreement of the teams to allow the change at short notice to allow the game to go ahead.

At the bottom, Pembroke recorded their second win of the season to put six points between themselves and the side they defeated, UCD, with a 3-2 scoreline. It was more comfortable than that suggests with Julian Dale’s double putting them 3-0 up before UCD netted twice in the last seven minutes through Jay Menelaou and Sam Byrne.


EYHL Division 2

Annadale 2 (T Cross, A McAllister) Glenanne 3 (S O’Donoghue 3); Lisnagarvey 2 (B Nelson, O Kidd) Banbridge 2 (C Curry, L Rowe); Three Rock Rovers 1 (R Canning) Monkstown 1 (G Sarratt); UCD 2 (J Menelaou, S Byrne) Pembroke 3 (J Dale 2, G Chambers); YMCA 1 (G Glutz) Corinthian 0

EYHL Division 2

Pool A: Cork C of I 2 (I Balding, J Bruton) Instonians 2 (B Palmer, C Kirk); Railway Union 4 (M English 4) Rathgar 1 (S Madeley)

Pool B: Kilkeel 0 Cork Harlequins 0

Pool C: Bandon 5 (F O'Leary 2, I Perrott 2, E Hamilton-Foott) Mossley 3 (S Todd 2, J Robinson); Portrane 0 Cookstown 1 (R Millar)

Stephen Findlater

Stephen Findlater

Stephen Findlater is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about hockey