Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Old Alex start new EY Hockey League in fine fettle

Round up of Hockey Ireland's men and women EY Hockey League

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Hockey Paper staff
Latest breaking news, previews and match reports written by Hockey Paper staff

Old Alex were the big winners on day one of the women’s EY Hockey League as they got the best of Belfast Harlequins 4-1 while the other three times on the agenda ended in close-fought draws. 

With Olympians Lena Tice and Deirdre Duke unavailable, it gave a chance for their young stars to shine as Mikayla Power – daughter of umpiring legend Carol Metchette – to take her chance and net twice for Alex. 

She got the first before Millie O’Donnell made it 2-0 at half-time. Natalie Lyttle pulled one back only a couple of months since the birth of her baby Micah but Alex pushed on and made the game safe via Power and Sarah Robinson. 

Elsewhere, it was a case of a point all round. UCD scored with just a couple of minutes to go when KJ Marshall scrambled in from close range against Catholic Institute at Rosbrien. 

The Limerick side overcame an early concession to build a 2-1 lead courtesy of Liz Ryan and Leah Clery only to be caught with less then three minutes on the clock. 

Pembroke showed their potential against reigning champions Pegasus with another 1-1 tie.

In this one, the Dubliners took the lead through Claire Foley just before half-time but Ella Armstrong’s excellent equaliser meant a share of the laurels. 

That was the same scoreline at Grange Road where two much changed line-ups saw Muckross and Cork Harlequins draw 1-1.

The goals came in near identical fashion with Laura Hanlon’s goal from the corner injection spot cancelled out by one for Michelle Barry in similar fashion. 

Cork Harlequins’ Michelle Barry PIC: Adrian Boehm

With 26 goals across five matches, the men’s EY Hockey League returned with a drama a plenty. 

YMCA carried on their momentum from 12 months ago, making it four successive EYHL wins as they beat Pembroke 5-3 with Ross Henderson scoring a hat trick. Pembroke had led 2-1 via Alan Sothern’s double at one stage in the second quarter but the Y quickly replied with Matt Walker and Harry McCarthy also getting in on the act. 

Glenanne produced the performance of the day when they grabbed a 2-1 win over a fancied Lisnagarvey side packed with international talent. Goals from the prolific Shane O’Donoghue and Jonny McCormack earned them the spoils with James Lorimer’s reply with seven minutes to go ending up as a consolation goal. 

Monkstown left it late but Geoff Cole grabbed them a late point in a 1-1 draw against Banbridge at Rathdown, a picture perfect team goal. Earlier, Bann were good value for their lead via Philip Brown’s penalty corner follow-up strike. 

The men’s EY Hockey League returned with drama aplenty PIC: Sinéad Hingston

At Lagan College, Annadale also scored late in the game to earn a 3-3 draw against Corinthian. Both sides will rue a missed opportunity with Dale leading 2-0 in the second quarter only for the reds to reply and score the next three goals with South African international Chad Futcher scoring twice on debut.  

David Tremlett, though, popped up with the equaliser in the 61st minute from Callum Robson’s cross for the share of the spoils. 

Three Rock Rovers, meanwhile, are the early leaders on goal difference thanks to a 5-2 win over UCD as Ali Empey top scored with four goals against the club he played for last season.  

Rovers went ahead via another new arrival, Ryan Spencer, before UCD levelled thanks to Sam Walker. But Empey’s exploits meant Three Rock were always out of range once he made it 2-1 in the second quarter. 

Men’s EYHL Division 1
Annadale 3 (R Davidson, O McElhinney, D Tremlett) Corinthian 3 (C Futcher 2, D Howard); Glenanne 2 (S O’Donoghue, J McCormack) Lisnagarvey 1 (J Lorimer); Monkstown 1 (G Cole) Banbridge 1 (Ph Brown); UCD 2 (S Walker, S Byrne) Three Rock Rovers 5 (A Empey 4, R Spencer); YMCA 5 (R Henderson 3, H McCarthy, M Walker) Pembroke Wanderers 3 (A Sothern 2, J Dale) 

Women’s EYHL Division 1
Belfast Harlequins 1 (N Lyttle) Old Alexandra 4 (M Power 2, S Robinson, M O’Donnell); Catholic Institute 2 (E Ryan, L Clery) UCD 2 (S Young, KJ Marshall); Muckross 1 (L Hanlon) Cork Harlequins 1 (M Barry); Pegasus 1 (E Armstrong) Pembroke Wanderers 1 (C Foley) 

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