Belfast Telegraph

Cookstown's top-flight status now hangs in the balance

By Graham hamilton

Cookstown are in grave danger of tumbling out of the EY Irish Hockey League after results didn't go their way over the weekend.

The Tyrone side lost 3-0 to second placed Three Rock Rovers on Saturday while rivals Dublin YMCA edged a point ahead of them following a 1-1 draw with Annadale.

But the big blow came yesterday afternoon when bottom team Cork C of I shocked Monkstown 3-0 in Dublin, just 24 hours after they had lost 2-0 to the very same opposition at the Munster venue.

That brings Cork level with Cookstown at the foot of the table with YMCA a point better off and the programme almost completed. Both Cookstown and Cork have to play Three Rock but YMCA have an easier finish with a home game against Pembroke.

Cookstown have a game in hand but it's not an easy one - home to Banbridge who are bidding to qualify for the play-offs which they are hosting in early May.

Bann need to turn the tables on Pembroke Wanderers when they meet the Dubliners this ­Saturday to make it through after crashing 5-2 on Saturday.

Eugene Magee struck twice but they were always trailing Pembroke.

While Bann were rubbing their wounds, Lisnagarvey and Annadale had much to celebrate.

Garvey's 5-1 trouncing of last season's champions Glenanne leaves them needing just one win from their final two games - both against Annadale - to clinch the title, a remarkable feat considering they lost four internationals to European clubs over the summer.

The Nelson brothers, Daniel and Matthew, put them two ahead and the goals flowed with Andy Williamson, Jonny Lynch and Oliver Kidd making it five before Eddie O'Malley's late consolation.

Annadale's 1-1 draw at YMCA meant they are clear of any ­relegation worries, with David Tremlett getting the vital equaliser.

Instonians will face UCD in the IHL promotion play-offs, with James Palmer scoring the only goal for the Shaw's Bridge side against Kilkeel on Friday evening to finish Pool B runners-up and earn the right to take on Pool A winners UCD who beat Bangor 6-2.

Yesterday: EY Irish Hockey League: Monkstown 0 C ork C of I 3 (J Jermyn 2, P Brownlow)

Saturday: Lisnagarvey 5 (D Nelson, M Nelson, A Williamson, J Lynch, O Kidd) Glenanne 1 (E O'Malley); Pembroke Wanderers 5 (P Good 2, H Spain, S Sweetnam, J Ryan) Banbridge (E Magee 2); Cookstown 0 Three Rock Rovers 3 (K Mullins 2, J Hosking); Dublin YMCA 1 (G Glutz) Annadale 1 (D Tremlett); Cork C of I 0 Monkstown (G Sarratt, G Cole)

IHL 2 Pool A: Bangor 3 (S Cox, C Walker, J Easlea)) UCD 6 (A Meates 2, P Lynch, E Ramsey, A Keane, A Tutty); Bandon 0 Railway Union 2

Pool B: Instonians 1 (B Palmer) Kilkeel 0; Corinthian 4 (I Stewart, D Howard, M Wright, G Dagg) UCC 0

McClements Cup final: Portadown II 3 Queen's II 4 (after penalty runs)

Junior Cup final: Kilkeel III 8 Mossley III 7 (after penalty runs)

Minor Cup final: South Antrim IV 3 Portrush II 2.

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