Lisnagarvey close gap on Banbridge in EY Hockey League title chase
Glenanne moved three points clear at the top of the men’s EY Hockey League table though things remain incredibly tight with Banbridge and Lisnagarvey just behind them with a game in hand.
The Glens salvaged a 4-3 win in the very last minute from a Jonny McCormack touch from Joe Brennan’s cross to nick the win against relegation-threatened Cookstown.
In the big derby in Ulster, Lisnagarvey continued their excellent run of form to beat Banbridge at Havelock Park. First half goals from Andy Williamson and James Lorimer made the difference as Garvey led 2-0 for a long-time before Eugene Magee got one back in the dying moments.
Pembroke earned a 2-1 success at Annadale. Greg Chambers and the returning Andrew Shackleton put them in good shape before Andrew O’Hare got a Dale consolation with a minute to go.
In the women’s EY Champions Trophy, Ards were defeated by Loreto while Pegasus beat Railway Union.
Ards went down 2-0 at Londonderry Park, while Pegasus produced an excellent first half to see off a dangerous Railway Union 3-1, with Taite Doherty, Shirley McCay and Lucy McKee all scoring before half-time.
Railway were then 3-0 up against Pembroke but saw their game abandoned due to snow.
Ards were beaten again yesterday by UCD as they lost out 2-0. They remain in third place, eight points off the leaders Loreto but with a game in hand; they are four points back from Pegasus.
Cork Harlequins beat Belfast Harlequins 4-2 in Cork.
Belfast Quins had won 4-1 at Muckross a day earlier as Jenna Watt scored a couple, ending with three for her weekend’s work.
In the women’s Ulster Premier League, Ballymoney stay four points clear at the top after a 3-0 away win over Ballymena with goals from Ruth Sutherland and former international Nikki Parke, who got two.
The result leaves Ballymena in serious relegation difficulty as they are a point adrift of Randalstown at the bottom.
It’s been a tough season for the Braidsiders, having secured promotion back into the top flight after more than a decade in Senior One.
Champions Lurgan remain second after a 2-1 win over Rainey while a late equaliser from Jessica McMaster salvaged Queen’s a 3-3 draw at Lisnagarvey.
However, Lurgan didn’t have things all their own way against the Magherfelt side who took the lead through Andrea Heggarty midway through the second half.
Olivia Gibson levelled matters with 10 minutes left before Jo-Ann Reid grabbed the winner with two minutes on the clock.
Queen’s had led Garvey 1-0 at the break but trailed 3-2 before McMaster popped up to steal a point when she scored in the dying seconds.
In the other top tier games Randalstown nicked a crucial point in their bid to avoid the drop as they held Mossley to a scoreless draw at the Antrim Forum while Banbridge beat Dungannon 3-2.
In Senior One, Raphoe stay top after the Pattersons, Wendy and Leanne both hit hat-tricks in a 7-1 win over Castle at Carrickfergus.
On the men’s scene, champions Kilkeel and Instonians are eight points clear of the chasing pack after good wins.
Eddie Agnew hit a treble for Kilkeel in their 4-2 win over South Antrim while William Robinson struck twice for Inst in their 3-1 success at Bangor.
Elsewhere, a late winner from Josh Gilmore sealed North Down a 3-2 victory over Mossley, whose title chances have faded as a result.