Monkstown close the gap at the top to just two points behind Lisnagarvey
Leaders held to a surprising 4-4 draw at home by Glenanne
Rory Nichols: continued his goal per game ratio for Monkstown who defeated UCD 2-1. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho
Lisnagarvey’s EY Hockey League title tilt may not be quite the procession it seemed prior to the weekend after a shock 4-4 draw against Glenanne.
The Hillsborough side had laid waste to allcomers prior to this tie, running up over 80 goals in 11 competitive games in all competitions.
But they were given a rude awakening at St Andrew’s by the sixth place Glens who raced into a 4-0 first half lead as Johnny McCormack, Adam Clayton, Clive Kennedy and Stephen Brownlow all filled their boots.
It put ’Garvey in uncharted territory but they responded in champion fashion. Andy Williamson gave them a glimmer of hope before half-time and James Lorimer whipped in a corner to ratchet up the intensity in the third quarter.
Williamson’s second came with 13 minutes to go and Lorimer’s equalising second ensured some nervous moments for the Glens but they held on for a draw. Had they been offered that outcome pre-match, they would have taken it with glee but the circumstances took the wind out of those sails.
For ’Garvey, the comeback showed their mettle but there were more than enough chinks in the armour to give the chasing pack hope.
Chief among them is Monkstown who remain unbeaten and their 2-1 win over UCD – in a thrilling contest at Belfield – halved the deficit to two points going into the winter break from this competition.
Keith Kenning was superb in the sweeper role in the absence of skipper David Cole while UCD – featuring nine former ’Town players – were left to rue missed chances.
Guy Sarratt opened the scoring but Rory Nichols continued his goal-a-game strike rate to level. Davy Carson snapped up the second-half winner after Mark Gibbons’ lovely touch wreaked havoc when it bounced back off the post.
Three Rock Rovers are up to third as they just about held on for a fourth win of the campaign against YMCA. They trailed 2-1 at the break before Mark English netted twice for a 4-2 lead.
Even still, the Y – featuring six former Rovers – got back in the mix when Grant Glutz scored a corner with nine minutes to go. They had further openings but could not convert.
Banbridge are also on the move courtesy of a 9-0 win over hapless Annadale, netting eight second half goals to jump to fourth.
Ian Stewart scored a last minute equaliser for Corinthian in a 1-1 tie with Pembroke.