Three Rock Rovers end Banbridge's unbeaten run

Things have tightened up at the summit of the EY Hockey League as the first games of 2017 saw the top two lose on Saturday.
Three Rock Rovers end Banbridge's unbeaten run

Three Rock Rovers became the first side to beat leaders Banbridge this season as they took advantage of an understrength visiting side to win 2-1 at Grange Road.

Ross Canning and Ben Walker netted before Johnny McKee replies as Rovers’ counter-attacking strategy plus Jamie Carr’s excellence between the sticks paid dividends.

Monkstown lost a belter of a tie 4-3 to fellow title challengers Cork Church of Ireland at Garryduff. C of I twice led via Andrew Power and John Jermyn with Richard Sykes replying, with Jermyn’s second pegged back by Davy Carson.

Simon Wolfe’s solo goal re-established a two-goal cushion but Sykes’ second setup a grandstand finale with C of I holding out.

With Lisnagarvey seeing off a UCD side shorn of eight regulars 2-0, it leaves just two points covering the top five of Bann, Garvey, Monkstown, C of I and Three Rock. At the other end, Glenanne and Pembroke put some distance between themselves and the bottom three with respective wins over Railway Union (5-4) and Instonians (3-2), who continue to prop up the table.

In Munster, Ashton picked up their second win of the season by coming from behind to defeat Limerick 2-1, while Fionn O’Leary signed off on his UCC hockey career with a goal in their 2-2 draw with C of I B.

The Irish Hockey Trophy wasn’t a happy hunting ground for Munster sides. Bandon - beaten finalists in the last three men’s deciders - again suffered heartbreak in going down to Queen’s University on strokes after a 2-2 draw. Cork C of I’s women, title winners in 2014 and 2015, suffered a shock defeat in Donegal as Raphoe claimed a 3-2 success.

UCC went top of the ladies Division 1 after hammering Ashton 9-0 while Bandon saw off Waterford 3-0.

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