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Mark Bell inspires Bann as table-topping derby looms

By Graham Hamilton

Ulster duo Lisnagarvey and Banbridge proudly sit joint top of the EY Irish Hockey League following Saturday's fifth round of fixtures - but something has to give next Sunday when they meet head-on at Hillsborough.

It was Bann who benefited most from the weekend programme, winning 2-0 at Pembroke while main rivals Garvey drew 2-2 at Cork C of I and Irish Senior Cup winners Monkstown crashed 3-0 at home to Three Rock in the big Dublin derby.

Mark Bell and Johnny McKee were the inspirations for Bann and it was little surprise that it was these two rising stars that scored their goals, with the former roofing a penalty corner in the first half and McKee wrapping things up late in the second.

Champions Garvey were grateful to defender James Lorimer who grabbed a vital equaliser following their lengthy trip to Cork, where they trailed to two John Jermyn goals.

With Three Rock pulling off a shock smash and grab win at Monkstown, it means Garvey and Bann are level at the top on 11 points with Cork and Monkstown just a point behind.

It's still Instonians at the foot of the table, but Steven Redpath's lads chalked up their first point in a 1-1 draw with Glenanne in a game they could have won.

Annadale remain top of the Ulster Premier League after a 5-3 win over Mossley.

Player/coach Peter Caruth, Ollie Brown and Chris Thompson put them 3-1 ahead but a Simon Todd brace helped the Newtownabbey side draw level at 3-3 early in the second half.

However, Caruth got his second and James Cox converted a penalty corner to secure the win and keep them ahead of Cookstown, who have a game in hand.

The Tyrone side had a comfortable 6-2 success at Raphoe, with Greg Allen adding another two to his season's tally, while Luke McClelland also got a brace as Belfast Harlequins crushed North Down 6-1 in Comber.

Johnny McMeekin was the day's top scorer with five as Antrim beat Ballynahinch 14-1.

IHL: Pembroke 0 B'bridge 2 (M Bell, J McKee); Cork C of I 2 (J Jermyn 2) L'garvey 2 (A Williamson, J Lorimer); UCD 4 (J Duncan 2, A Keane, G Chambers) Railway 3 (M English 2, S McKeever); M'town 0 Three Rock 3 (Empey, Mullins, Canning); Instonians 1 (W Robinson) Glenanne 1 (S O'Donoghue).

Premier League: Annadale 5 (P Caruth 2, O Brown, C Thompson, J Cox) Mossley 3 (S Todd 2, R McIvor); Raphoe 2 (L Witherow, A Tinney); Campbellians 1 (J Easlea), Portadown 1 (A Stevenson); Cookstown 6 (G Allen 2, R Miller 2, K Black, P Thompson); Newry 1 (C McKnight) Civil Service 0; North Down 1 (J Gilmore) Harlequins 6 (L McClelland 2, C Oldwell, J Hutchinson, C Lemon, P Dobbin)

Senior One: Queen's 1 Bangor 3 (R Cunningham, D McClune, M Riordan); B'hinch 1 (J Campbell) Antrim 14 (J McMeekin 5, S McIlroy 3, L Kane 3, D Wilson, A Reilly, S Clyde); South Antrim 9 Portrush 0

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