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Goal a game Nelson nudges Garvey to the top

 

Matthew Nelson
Matthew Nelson

By Graham Hamilton

Irish international striker Matthew Nelson scored twice on Saturday to maintain his goal a game average at EY Irish Hockey League level as Lisnagarvey moved to the top of the table for the first time this season.

Nelson opened Garvey's account in a convincing 8-2 success over Cork C of I and added a second later on as the Blues took full advantage of main rivals Glenanne and Banbridge battling out a 3-3 draw in Dublin.

Garvey now lead Glenanne on goal difference but with a game in hand and are three points ahead of Bann but with the same number of games played.

The Blues were never in doubt against Cork, being four up at half-time and then eight up after the third quarter before the visitors hit back with late goals from David Lynch from a penalty corner and Stephen Parker from a penalty stroke.

Yes, Cork might have made a better fight of things had their penalty corner expert John Jermyn been available, but too often they were crowded out by the hungry Garvey teenagers.

Three of those rising stars scored four between them - Oliver Kidd got two and Troy Chambers and Ben Nelson one each.

Adding on the two goals from Matthew Nelson and penalty corners from James Lorimer and Andy Williamson, it left the Cork side well adrift.

Bann came from behind twice to take a valuable point at Glenanne, with David Rae bagging his first hat-rick for the club since his move from Kilkeel over the summer.

Two of those came from penalty strokes and his opener was a tap-in after a baseline run opened the Glenanne defence.

Second bottom Cookstown had no game but results went their way, with the three teams around them losing heavily.

Cork conceded eight at Garvey, YMCA were hit for seven at Monkstown and Annadale let in six at Three Rock Rovers, although they did stage a revival with late goals from Chris Thompson, Ryan Burgess and Paddy Crookshanks.

Meanwhile, Instonians edged ahead of Kilkeel at the top of the Ulster Premier League as top scorer Stephen Kelso scored twice in a 4-1 win at North Down.

Kilkeel's game was postponed as a mark of respect for Newry coach Neil Madeley whose father David sadly passed away.

EY Irish Hockey League: Lisnagarvey 8 (M Nelson 2, O Kidd 2, J Lorimer, B Nelson, A Williamson, T Chambers) Cork C of I 2 (D Lynch, S Parker); Glenanne 3 (C Jacobi 2, S Boucher) Banbridge 3 D Rae 3); Three Rock Rovers 6 ( H Morris 2, M English 2, D Walsh, M Darling) Annadale 3 (C Thompson, R Burgess, P Crookshanks); Monkstown 7 (G Sarratt 2, G Watkins 2, S Byrne, R Spencer, D Carson) Dublin YMCA 1 (R Henderson)

Ulster Premier League: North Down 1 (G McKeown) Instonians 4 (S Kelso 2, R McGaughan, D Arneill); South Antrim 5 (A Glass 3, P Maguire, C Henry) Bangor 2 (R Cunningham, S Hamill)

Sussex Regiment Cup: Queen's 6 (D Reid 2, S McCabe, F Harkin, J Hermon, R Wolsely) Portadown 3 (G Titler, R Scott, R Bennett)

Intermediate League: Armagh 2 Portrush 1; Ballynahinch 6 PSNI 2.

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