Lisnagarvey will be Ulster’s sole representative in next month’s Irish Senior Cup finals as Pegasus missed out on a possible league and knock out trophy double.
Garvey defeated Glenanne 3-1 at Comber Road to book a date with Three Rock Rovers but Pegasus lost 1-0 to Cork Harlequins in their semi at the Dub. Garvey followed up Saturday’s hard-fought 2-0 league success against Monkstown with an equally battling win against Glenanne.
James Corry opened the scoring with a corner flick on the swivel before Jerome Saeys tied things up at the second attempt of of a set-piece. A great counter effort from Andrew Edgar meant Garvey had the edge for most of the second half, sealing the deal via Andrew Williamson’s corner. It keeps them in the frame for a possible treble with a Champions Trophy playoff place assured and they lead the EYHL table by three points with three rounds to go.
It is quite the performance from Erroll Lutton’s troops who saw Sean Murray, Paul Gleghorne, Michael Robson and Neal Glassey all depart for pro teams last summer. The trust in the rising teenage stars at the club has been repaid in spades with numerous teenagers stepping up to the level admirably.
For Rovers, they are in blistering form, making it 10 wins in succession in all competitions. Following the 8-1 dismissal of Pembroke on Saturday, they backed that up with a 5-0 win over Cork C of I in Garryduff.
Cork had a better weekend in the league as they landed their first EYHL win since November 2017 to give their hopes of remaining in the national division a real boost as they won 3-2 at Cookstown. John Jermyn, Stephen Parker and Thomas Chalumeau handed them a 3-0 lead which Cookstown began to eat into with Callum Anderson and Mark Crooks trimmed the advantage to just one but C of I held on for the three points.
The result halves their gaps to Cookstown and YMCA and they now face back-to-back games against Monkstown to try and record another win to get give them real hope. At the top, the leading quartet all won to strengthen their claims for an EY Champions Trophy spot. Lisnagarvey are already there courtesy of late goals in each half at Monkstown to win out 2-0, Andy Williamson and James Lorimer getting the goals.
Banbridge ran up an 8-0 win over out-of-form Annadale who have not won in their last seven games. Eugene Magee, John McKee and Josh Moffett scored a brace each. They remain in equal second with two games to go, three points off Lisnagarvey.
On the women’s front, Pegasus failed to replicate their league form when they went down 1-0 to Cork Harlequins in the semi-final of the Irish Cup at the Dub on Sunday.
The Belfast side, badly missing Shirley McCay, who instead had to attend Ireland training, seldom looked like repeating their 3-0 win in the corresponding league game eight days earlier. In a game of very few chances, defences were on top with ex-Ireland player Cliodhna Sargent, a commanding figure for the Munster side before having to go off with what looked like a serious knee injury.
Pegasus had two penalty corners late in the first-half and the Cork keeper Becky Maye denied Stephanie Thompson from one of them. Quins grabbed the vital goal in the 56th minute when, after former Ulster Elks player Rebecca Barry forced a set-piece, Emma Barber drove the ball low into the net. Cork will now face Loreto in next month’s final after they defeated Leinster rivals Railway Union on penalties after a scoreless draw in Sunday’s other semi-final.
Pegasus will now turn their attention back to the league when a point from Saturday’s game with Muckross will see them crowned IHL regulation season champions.
There was disappointment for Portadown in the IHT semi as they lost on penalties to Greenfields after a 2-2 draw, having been 2-0 up at the break after Amy Black struck twice.
On Saturday, Muckross plunged Ards into danger of automatic relegation after winning the basement battle 2-1 at Londonderry Park. An Ards win would have almost certainly have left them needing to win a play-off to avoid the drop back into the Ulster League. The Ulster side have five points, one more than Muckross, who have a game in hand but the Dublin side have a tougher run in.
They face UCD twice after playing Pegasus while Ards take on marginally less difficult opposition in Railway Union and Cork Harlequins. Sophie Barnwell and Jessica Holland scored in the first-half to put Muckross 2-0 up before Brenna McEwen reduced the deficit with 15 minutes left.
Meanwhile, at domestic level, Lurgan moved three points clear at the top of the Ulster Premier League following a 3-1 win over Banbridge at Havelock Park. Goals from Emma Lindsay and Lydia McNeill in the space of two minutes shortly before the break put the champions in the ascendancy. Natalie Barr added a third from a penalty corner in the 52nd minute before Jill Costley’s late consolation.
Lisnagarvey have jumped into third place behind Ballymoney after a 2-1 home win over Randalstown with goals from Louise McCracken and Kerry McIlwaine. Queen’s kept their slim title hopes alive with a 2-0 victory over Ulster Elks with a goal in each half from Emily McStea and Tori Hastings while Dungannon were 3-1 winners over Mossley in the other top flight game.
Irish Senior Cup Semi-finals: Pegasus 0 Cork Harlequins 1 (E Barber); Loreto 0 Railway Union 0 (Loreto won 3-1 in shootout)
Irish Hockey Trophy Semi-finals: Portadown 2 (A Black 2) Greenfields 2 (Greenfields won 1-0 in shootout); NUIG 1 Cork C of I 2
EY Irish Hockey League: Ards 1 (B McEwen) Muckross 2 (S Barnwell, J Holland)
Ulster Premier League: Banbridge 1 (J Costley) Lurgan 3 (E Lindsay, L McNeill, N Barr); Dungannon 3 (L Cassels, Z Henderson, J Hood) Mossley 1 (N McMillan); Lisnagarvey 2 (L McCracken, K McIlwaine) Randalstown 1 (CJ McDonald); Queen’s 2 (E McStea, T Hastings) Ulster Elks 0
Senior One: Raphoe 7 (K Love 2, S Barnett, L Patterson 2, W Patterson 2) Omagh 0; IHL 2 Pool 2: Catholic Institute 1 Monkstown 1.
EY Hockey League: Banbridge 8 (J Moffett 2, J McKee 2, E Magee 2, A Tinney, Z McClelland) Annadale 0; Cookstown 2 (C Anderson, M Crooks) Cork C of I 3 (J Jermyn, S Parker, T Chalumeau); Glenanne 2 (C Jakobi 2) YMCA 1 (S Hyland); Monkstown 0 Lisnagarvey 2 (A Williamson, J Lorimer); Three Rock Rovers 8 (L Madeley 2, A Empey 2, M English, D Walsh, H Morris, J Mullins) Pembroke Wanderers 1 (H Spain)
Irish Senior Cup Semi-Finals: Cork C of I 0 Three Rock Rovers 5 (L Madeley, B Walker, M Darling, K Mullins, D Walsh); Lisnagarvey 3 (J Corry, A Edgar, A Williamson) Glenanne 1 (J Saeys)
Ulster Premier: South Antrim 2 (A Glass, J Moore) Instonians 3 (W Robinson 2, D Arneill)
Sussex Regiment Cup: Portadown 4 (S Johnston, M Winter, R Bennett, J Lutton) Newry Olympic 5 (K Fletcher 2, K McWilliams, D England, J Porter); Mossley 3 (J Robinson 2, R Wilson) Belfast Harlequins 1 (N Anderson); North Down 4 (J Gilmore, J Lyner, P Templeton, D Morris) Civil Service 4 (S Armstrong 2, J Thompson, D Wittington)