It was moving day at both ends of the men’s EY Hockey League with a slew of surprise results on Saturday.
Cork C of I’s title challenge took a big knock as they were frustrated by relegation-threatened Railway Union, for whom former C of I man Peter Catchpole was on the scoresheet in a smash-and-grab 4-1 raid at Garryduff.
Eugene Magee’s conversion into a forward continues to be a success for leaders Banbridge; he scored twice in their remarkable 5-1 away thrashing of Monkstown, who have a lot of work to do to make the play-offs.
The sides will also meet again in the Irish Senior Cup final after straightforward semi-final wins over the competition’s surprise packages yesterday, Bann seeing off Corinthians 4-0 with Monkstown routing UCD 6-1.
A trio of teenagers - including debutant Rob McCollum - were on the scoresheet for Three Rock Rovers as their blistering start to 2017 continued with a 3-1 win over Lisnagarvey, despite Rovers being down three key performers due to injury.
Pembroke have moved into a share of fifth as Alan Sothern’s second successive hat-trick helped them come from two goals down in a 5-2 defeat of Glenanne.
Basement side Instonians notched up their first win in beating UCD 3-1, a seventh successive loss for the students which puts them within reach of Inst as both bid to avoid the drop.
Cork Harlequins won at Pegasus for the second time in seven days to hand their women’s EYHL title hopes a huge boost and effectively end the Belfast side’s challenge.
Having succeeded in an Irish Senior Cup semi-final shootout last Sunday, Quins absorbed lots of Pegs pressure before turning the game on its head through Olivia Roycroft and Karen Bateman. Michelle Harvey’s reply wasn’t enough to prevent Quins winning 2-1.
The Leesiders went on to beat Belfast Harlequins 3-1 yesterday - Bateman, Roycroft and Naomi Carroll bagging the goals - to keep the pressure up on Monkstown and UCD.
Monkstown led all the way in a tough 4-2 win at Loreto, while sisters Abbie and Emma Russell netted twice in an 8-1 win for leaders UCD at Ulster Elks. Belfast Harlequins gave their survival hopes another boost with Laura Johnston’s double giving them a 2-1 win at Pembroke.
In Munster, UCC won a belter of a Munster Senior Cup semi-final at Catholic Institute, Kate Harvey’s double underpinning a 3-2 success as they look to claim a first title since 2009.
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