Three sides share top spot at the head of the men’s EY Hockey League after three games with the last two perfect records falling by the wayside and all clubs off the mark in terms of points.
Lisnagarvey won a classic County Down derby against Banrbidge 5-4 with the young guns from Comber Road joining Bann at the head of the table on six points.
The Comber Road side has put its trust in young guns like Harry Morris, Andy Edgar, Oliver Kidd, Troy Chambers and Johnny Lynch this season following the departure of four players to foreign shores and they are growing in confidence all the time.
They did fall behind the inside 22 minutes when Johnny McKee was on the mark but Garvey grabbed the next three goals to take the initiative either side of half-time. Morris levelled just before the break before Timmy Cockram – back after a year’s break – scored the first of his trio of goals from a corner. Chambers got the third goal for a 3-1 lead with 20 minutes to go.
Eugene Magee kept up his goal a game record early in the fourth quarter to get Bann back in the mix but, within a minute, Cockram had his second for 4-2.
Again, Bann fought back with another Magee goal but his former international team-mate netted his third, this one from play, with nine minutes to go – a fourth goal in six minutes between the sides. Alexander Tinney once more made the game live with four minutes left but Garvey held on for the victory.
As such, Garvey move level with Bann and Pembroke who also lost their perfect record with a 2-1 home defeat to Annadale.
The tie was locked at 0-0 after three quarters with Pembroke missing a stroke before Dale took the lead via Peter Caruth’s power-slap.
Keith O’Hare levelled instantly but the Ulster side nabbed the win when David Tremlett got on the end of a long corner cross.
Jack Haycock grabbed a point for Cookstown as his diving penalty corner rebound with seven minutes to go saw them share the points with reigning league champions Glenanne at Steelweld Park.
The Co Tyrone side took the lead early in the second quarter when Stewart Wylie took in a long aerial on the left baseline high over his shoulder and proceeded to drive across the line before picking out Michael Kerr’s near post touch.
Shannon Boucher responded with a low corner shot for 1-1 but parity almost proved short-lived when Mark Crooks hit the post soon after, keeping it all square.
The Dubliners did go in front for the first time when Jonny McCormack got his first goal for the club, touching home in front of Josh McCabe from a corner routine.
McCabe then kept his side in the running a couple of great stops, allowing his side a chance at getting the equaliser in the closing minutes, a corner rebound snapped up smartly by Haycock.
The Glens remain the only unbeaten side with five points from nine so far but sit in fourth place overall.
In Cork, C of I made it two draws from three while YMCA got their first ever EYHL point.
The Dubliners will regret, though, not making more of it having missed a stroke and letting a lead slip in the final quarter.
Gabriel de Grandis gave them a first half lead before Cork levelled through former YM man Stephen Parker. Grant Glutz made it 2-1 to the Y from their second penalty stroke of the day but Alex Deane scrambled in a second equaliser.