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Watt points the way to Lisnagarvey's title win

By Graham Hamilton

Lisnagarvey are just two points away from landing the inaugural Irish Hockey League with four games still to play.

And Banbridge edged closer to securing third place and a slot in the Irish Champions Trophy play-offs, while Cookstown moved out of the bottom two for the first time to give them a chance of avoiding relegation.

Annadale, though, fielded without six regulars against Bann and it showed as they shipped three goals late on to lose 5-2 to stay bottom.

But first Garvey, and two goals from Mikey Watt helped them to a 3-2 success over Pembroke, leaving them 11 points clear of second-placed Monkstown with just 12 points to play for.

It was Garvey's 12th IHL win on the trot and one more win, or two draws, or Monkstown slipping up once in the run-in, would guarantee the title and a place in Europe next season.

Banbridge were struggling to see off Annadale but then Eugene Magee bagged a hat-trick.

The Dale were missing Michael Robson, Matthew Allister, Callum Robson, Conor Roberts, Chris Campbell and Chris Jackson for a variety of reasons but it didn't show until late on.

Cookstown, though, did themselves a massive favour by slamming Cork C of I 4-0 and they now leapfrog the Munster men to climb out of the bottom two.

Ryan Millar did the damage with a brace of goals.

Kilkeel's 2-2 draw with Raphoe means that Instonians need just one point from two games to land the title while bottom club North Down's draw with Civil Service moves them to within two points of South Antrim who have now finished their programme.

RESULTS: EY Irish Hockey League: Cookstown 4 (R Millar 2, S Todd, J Ames) Cork C of I 0; Lisnagarvey 3 (M Watt 2, A Williamson) Pembroke 2 (H Spain, E Foy); Annadale 2 (P McKibben, J Cox) Banbridge 5 (E Magee 3, B McCandless, J McKee); Monkstown 1 (A Ward) Railway Union 0; Glenanne 2 (S Boucher, G Shaw) Three Rock 0

Ulster Premier League: Portadown 4 (A Stevenson 2, R Scott, G Edgar) Mossley 1 (R McIvor); Kilkeel 2 (M Stevenson, G Russell) Raphoe 2 (B Wallace, S Cleverley); North Down 2 (P Wilson 2) Civil ervice 2 (C Barnes, P Johnston); South Antrim 2 (A Glass, C Henry) Belfast Harlequins 3 (J Hutchinson, L McClelland, N Anderson)

Senior League: Queen's 4 (R Kelly 2, G Leckey, A Bell) Bangor 1 (R Burgess); Campbellians 2 (C Bannister, A Saunders) Antrim 1 (L Kane)

Sussex Regiment Cup: Cliftonville 2 (J Allen, N McKimm) Armagh 0

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