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Annadale flying high as Inst run into difficulty


Tight contest: Railway’s Kenny Carroll and Andy Forrest of Lisnagarvey battle for possession

Tight contest: Railway’s Kenny Carroll and Andy Forrest of Lisnagarvey battle for possession

©INPHO/Presseye/Rowland White

Tight contest: Railway’s Kenny Carroll and Andy Forrest of Lisnagarvey battle for possession

It was a day of mixed fortunes for Ulster clubs in the second series of matches in the Irish Hockey League.

Annadale are perhaps the surprise leaders in Pool A following their 4-2 victory over UCC. A William Edgar brace combined with goals from his brother John and highly talented Irish international Michael Robson saw the Carryduff-based side make the return journey of the 500 mile round trip a happy one.

The other two Ulster clubs in this group, however, succumbed to defeats by their southern counterparts.

The enigmatic Instonians had no answer to the firepower of Leinster kingpins Monkstown, suffering a heavy 5-0 defeat whilst Cookstown were also swept aside by Leinster visitors Pembroke Wanderers.

The Dubliners took a 2-0 lead before their goalkeeper Mark Ingram sustained what at the time seemed a very serious injury. The game was delayed for over half an hour whilst Ingram initially received treatment on the pitch before being hospitalised.

Greg Allen and Keith Black levelled matters before Pembroke, who had the experienced Paddy Conlon as a kicking back, scored late goals to ensure a brave and arguably deserved victory.

Ingram was released from hospital and hopefully there will be no long-term repercussions.

Group B already looks like a three-horse race between Banbridge, Lisnagarvey and Three Rock Rovers. Bann were 7-0 winners over UCD, Stephen Dowds breaking through the 30-goal barrier for the season with a brace and the Co Down side can also celebrate a first senior goal for 15-year-old protege Kyle Marshall.

Lisnagarvey were comfortable 3-1 winners over a workmanlike Railway Union. Timmy Cockram's opener in the fourth minute was cancelled out by Mark English's equaliser in the 22nd.

Daniel Buser restored Garvey's lead on the three quarter hour mark. A magnificent John Tormey save denied Railway's Rob Abbott with three minutes to go and that proved decisive as Cockram sealed matters from a prolongation penalty corner.

Three Rock Rovers' 5-0 win over cork C of I leaves them level on points with Bann and Garvey.

There were no GOC Estate Agents Premier League matches so the domestic programme was focused on Senior 1.

Local derbies and goals were the order of the day with 27 scored in just five matches. Raphoe exposed Portrush's defensive frailties in a 4-3 victory while Bangor were shock home winners over neighbours North Down.

Portadown, one of the likely lads for promotion, eased past Antrim. South Antrim, another promotion favourite, had too much firepower for a beleaguered PSNI whilst dark horses Campbellians moved into contention with a 2-0 win over Queen's.

Belfast Telegraph