Belfast Telegraph

Hockey: Lewers gets clearance to join GB set-up

By Graham Hamilton

Ulster exile Iain Lewers has overcome groin surgery and is training with the Great Britain squad now that his clearance has come through from the International Hockey Federation.

The former Annadale star, now playing with Loughborough in England, was originally in the Irish set-up where he won over 80 caps but became disillusioned and decided to go down the GB route to realise his Olympic dream.

It meant being in the international wilderness for almost three years before he could become eligible for England, and indeed Lewers was involved in a wrangle with Ireland before they finally released him six weeks early.

But clearance is now through, as is that of former Instonian Mark Gleghorne, and they have set their sights on establishing themselves in the new set-up.

"GB are now training at Bisham Abbey, and having laid a new pitch similar to the one that will be used for the Olympics, it should be of great benefit," said Lewers.

"I've missed a few months through injury but am now clear and training hard again."

His first target is to try make the GB team for a tournament coming up next month in Malaysia, and then England's team for the Eurohockey Nations Cup where their first game is against Ireland!

Meanwhile Lisnagarvey crashed through the 100 goals barrier for the season when they beat Instonians 5-1 at Shaw's Bridge on Saturday to stay top of the O'NE 1918 Premier League.

Irish international Timmy Cockram (pictured) had the honour of scoring the milestone goal, his 27th of the season.

However, he remains one behind Annadale's Neil Hamilton who was also on the mark as the Dale stayed in contention for a top four finish, which guarantees an automatic place in next season's Irish Hockey League, with a 3-0 success at Mossley.

Other Garvey marksmen were Andy Forrest (2), Mark Daniel and Jason Lynch while the Dale's other scorers were teenagers William Edgar and David Nicholl.

Banbridge are second after a 3-0 home win over Bangor, with the McCandless brothers Scott and Bruce on the mark as well as Dane Ward.

Cookstown are third after crushing North Down 7-0 while Kilkeel are chasing hard for a fifth place finish which would give them an IHL wildcard place.

In Senior One, it's still South Antrim and Belfast Harlequins leading the way, with Ballynahinch and Cliftonville still in relegation trouble zone.

Finally Bann's Ian Livingstone grabbed himself a hat-trick in the 3-1 success over Annadale II to earn the right to take on Garvey II in the Irish Junior Cup final in Dublin on Saturday April 9.

O'NE 1918 Premier League: Instonians 1 (C Kirk) Lisnagarvey 5 (A Forrest 2, T Cockram, M Daniel, J Lynch); Cookstown 7 (P Thompson 2, D Best, T Hutchinson, M Crooks, G Allen, G Cuddy) North Down 0; Civil Service 3 (G Grundie 2, A Gill) Kilkeel 5 (W Annett 3, E Agnew, G Russell); Mossley 0 Annadale 3 (W Edgar, D Nicholl, N Hamilton); Banbridge 3 (S McCandless, B McCandless, D Ward) Bangor 0. Senior One: Armagh 4 (G Croft 2, D Warnock, S Kirkland) Antrim 1 (N McCullough); Ballynahinch 0 South Antrim 3 (A Glass 3); Belfast Harlequins 5 (M Willis, R Quigley, R Aiken, A Tweed, G Riddle) Cliftonville 1 (J Campbell)

Irish Junior Cup semi-final: Annadale II 1 Banbridge II 3.

Belfast Telegraph


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