Men’s Hockey: Monkstown make their presence felt

Ruthless dismissal of Three Rock Rovers marks them out as possible title contenders

Gareth Watkins: Monkstown’s player-coach’s side defeated Three Rock Rovers 6-0. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Gareth Watkins: Monkstown’s player-coach’s side defeated Three Rock Rovers 6-0. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

A ruthlessly efficient Monkstown put Three Rock Rovers to the sword to mark themselves out as potential contenders this season in the men’s EY Hockey League.

With Lisnagarvey and UCD providing plenty of fireworks, Gareth Watkins’ side had gone about their business slightly under the radar but they made a major statement with Saturday’s big 6-0 win.

Player-coach Watkins kick-started the afternoon with a fifth-minute penalty stroke and his side were well in the clear by half-time with Davy Carson and Geoff Cole also cashing in.

Watkins and Carson grabbed a second goal each after the break before Rory Nichols continued his scoring streak, bringing his tally to nine this season.

For Rovers, it was another bizarre scoreline at this early stage of the season, coming just seven days after they had hammered Annadale 9-1 as consistency with an overhauled side remains a way off.

They had their moments in the second and third quarters, missing out on some glorious chances while David Fitzgerald had a fine game, keeping out five penalty corner openings.

The result lifts Monkstown to second in the table, four points behind Lisnagarvey who continued their perfect start to the season. As they had done in the Irish Senior Cup, they fell behind against Banbridge at Havelock Park only to summon up a strong comeback with defenders Peter McKibbin and James Lorimer hoovering up corner goals for a 2-1 result.

UCD dropped to third in the division as they succumbed to a last-minute Alan Sothern goal to draw 2-2 with Pembroke. The students led twice through Guy Sarratt’s powerful drag-flicks but – amid a spate of yellow cards – Sothern popped up with the equaliser.

Cards were also in abundance at St Andrew’s with Glenanne finishing their tie against Corinthian with nine men with sideline coach Kieran Bolger sent outside the fence for dissent in a hot-tempered affair.

It ended 4-4 with Corinthian initially taking a 2-0 lead before falling 4-3 behind in the last 10 minutes. David Howard rescued the draw with time running out.

YMCA, meanwhile, recorded back-to-back wins with late strikes from Scott Ruttle – lining out against his brother Cameron – and Ben Chadwick earned them a 3-1 result at Annadale.

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