Richard Sykes’ late equaliser preserves Monkstown’s unbeaten run

Goal earns league leaders a 4-4 draw against Glenanne in top of the table clash

Richard Sykes’ last-minute penalty corner saw Monkstown cling on to their unbeaten Leinster Division One run into the New Year but, for the second time this season, they dropped points against Glenanne. The pair played out the game of the season, a 4-4 draw at Rathdown on Saturday, leaving just three points covering the top four in the division going into 2015.

’Town led three times in the first half as Geoff Cole put them ahead eight minutes in only for Stephen Brownlow to respond with a drag-flick. Jake Beirne’s effort was countered by a smart deflection from Stu Ronan before David Nolan gave the sky blues a 3-2 half-time lead.

The Glens, however, turned things around to lead 4-3 in the second half. Despite Ronan sitting out a yellow card suspension, they got level with 20 minutes to go as Daryl Carey picked out Paddy Gahan who fired home.

Richie Shaw duly converted a set piece move to give his side the lead for the first time and they looked set to nick all three points. But Monkstown put the squeeze on and got a dramatic late chance when Peter Caruth eluded a couple of defenders before being taken down for a final corner.

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Single point

Sykes fired home low past Gareth Carragher – standing in for Polish international Lukas Domachowski between the posts – to ensure Monkstown hold a single point lead over Pembroke at Christmas.

Pembroke were 2-1 winners over local rivals Railway Union with player-coach Paddy Conlon getting on the end of a beautiful pitch-length move to win it after James Dick and Patrick Shanahan had exchanged early goals.

Avoca won their first game in the top tier in Leinster since the 2005/06 season yesterday when they beat UCD 4-3, Ziggy Agnew scoring twice for the Blackrock club.

Stephen Findlater

Stephen Findlater

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