Banbridge see off champions Three Rock Rovers in opening round of EY League matches

Banbridge's Eugene Magee
Banbridge's Eugene Magee

The men’s EY Hockey League returned with a bang over the weekend with Banbridge’s last minute winner against reigning EY Champions Trophy holders Three Rock Rovers providing an immaculate spectacle.

The tie was played in front of a big crowd at Havelock Park with Banbridge with the night lights illuminating their new turf and cracking hockey in the best possible way.

Bann built a 3-0 lead by 30 seconds into the second half with John McKee, Fraser Mills and Josh Moffett all scoring. Mark English – on debut following his move to TRR from Railway Union – got two back within a few minutes, though, to put the game right back in the mix with half an hour to go.

John Mullins levelled with five minutes left only for Bann to win a last-minute corner which Olympian Magee whipped home past Shane O’Brien, deputising for Jamie Carr between the posts for a 4-3 win.

Cookstown impressed in a 7-1 thrashing of newly promoted YMCA, Stu Smyth nailing a hat-trick for the Tyrone side.

It was 2-0 after the first quarter and 5-0 before Ben Campbell got one on the board for the Y. Tim Sloan (2), Michael Kerr and Jack Haycock got the other goals.

Pembroke came back from a goal down to defeat Lisnagarvey at Comber Road.

Andy Williamson had given the Ulster side the lead but efforts from Jack Ryan and Patrick Shanahan turned it around and goalkeeper Simon Thornton made the saves for the Dubliners to earn the points.

Monkstown produced a brilliant final quarter showing to beat Annadale 6-2.

The tie was locked at 1-1 after the first half while Andrew Ward’s tap in saw Town eke out a 2-1 lead going into the final quarter but four goals in quick succession saw them soon race clear at the Merrion Fleet Arena.

Philip Brownlow, meanwhile, earned Cork C of I a share of the spoils at Garryduff against last year’s EY Hockey League regular season champions Glenanne.