Lisnagarvey and Monkstown have cut themselves clear at the top of the EY Hockey League as both recorded double wins over the weekend.
Town have the slight edge as they snuck a 4-3 win over Cork C of I on Saturday before convincingly beating Cookstown a day later.
Against C of I, they had trailed 3-1 in the first quarter but two goals from Gareth Watkins – in a week he celebrated his return to the Irish senior setup – and one each from Josh Gregory and Kyle Good earned them the spoils.
There was much less difficulty a day later as they led 6-0 at half-time in Co Tyrone and never looked back – Watkins added three more to his weekend total.
Garvey’s tie with Cookstown on Saturday was much tighter, nicking a 2-1 result thats to Sean Murray and Andy Forrest goals. Stuart Smyth replied for Cookstown. Garvey followed up with a gritty 2-0 win in Tallaght with Murray adding to his growing reputation.
Railway Union produced the comeback of the day when they salvaged a last ditch 4-4 draw against Annadale. They trailed 4-2 with less than five minutes remaining but summoned efforts from Nick Tate and a sliding Simon McKeever who levelled with mere seconds to go. They managed the draw in spite of having six front-line playes injured. The result also leaves Dale adrift at the bottom of the table after they fell 3-1 to Pembroke a day earlier with Alan Sothern on the mark twice.
Also on Saturday, Railway were undone by an improving Glenanne side 3-2 with South African Shannon Boucher scoring his second hat trick in as many games, James Dick getting both of Railway’s goals.
Three Rock Rovers’ youthful side continued their fine start to the season. A 0-0 draw with Banbridge on Saturday owed much to goalkeeper Jamie Carr’s heroics while Sunday’s 2-1 win against Pembroke came courtesy of a Jody Hosking thunderbolt with 17 minutes to go. Ross Canning and Sothern had traded first quarter goals.
Banbridge ended the weekend with two draws as Stephen Dowds salvaged a late 2-2 tie with Cork C of I in their second game of the weekend. The Cork side had twice led via Stephen Parker goals but Dowds ensured a share of the spoils.
EY Hockey League results
Saturday: Railway Union 2 (J Dick 2) Glenanne 3 (S Boucher 3); Lisnagarvey 2 (S Murray, A Forrest) Cookstown 1 (S Smyth); Monkstown 4 (G Watkins 2, J Gregory, K Good) Cork C of I 3 (P Brownlow, A Daunt, J Dale); Three Rock Rovers 0 Banbridge 0; Pembroke 3 (A Sothern 2, P Shanahan) Annadale 1 (M Allister)
Sunday: Banbridge 2 (S Dowds 2) Cork C of I 2 (S Parker 2); Glenanne 0 Lisnagarvey 2 (S Murray 2); Annadale 4 (A McKibbin, M Alistair, M Robson, R McGuire) Railway Union 4 (N Tate 2, K Carroll, S McKeever); Pembroke 1 (A Sothern) Three Rock Rovers 2 (R Canning, J Hosking); Cookstown 1 (E Butler) Monkstown 6 (G Watkins 3, J Gregory, J Bruton, K Good)