Saturday, December 5, 2009

Men's IHL: Reds take to IHL in style

Pool A
Banbridge 1 (Hugh McShane) Pembroke 2 (Conor Harte, Alan Sothern)
Pembroke began their IHL defence with victory, surviving a tense closing quarter to secure three points and maintain their perfect run to date in all competitions.

Bann pick up a losing bonus point but start the group on the back foot and now face a vital fixture against Instonians in round two of games to revive a return to the semi-finals.

The 'Broke held sway for the majority of the first half though had to wait until the final hooter before breaking the deadlock when Conor Harte fired in a corner, finally breaking down a Scott McCandless marshalled defence.

Bruce McCandless and Dermy Reay had gone close early on but Pembroke moved two clear in the 37th minute when Alan Sothern knocked in his eighth goal in seven days.

Hugh McShane pulled one back inside the third quarter to set up a grandstand final 17 and a half minutes. Matthew Smyth almost nicked a draw but his drag-flick was spectacularly saved by David Harte to maintain the winning margin for Pembroke.

Instonians 4 (Chris Kirk 2, William Robinson, Stuart McWilliams) Monkstown 1 (Andrew Ward)
Instonians took the early initiative in Pool A with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Monkstown, earning a bonus point in the process.

Set-piece specialist William Robinson netted inside two minutes while Stuart McWilliams made it 2-0 in the ninth from a second short-corner.

Gareth Watkins was a threat from play and drew two excellent saves from Nigel Skillen but the game was as good as killed when Chris Kirk slotted in a third goal in the 28th minute after racing in from the left wing.

He added his personal second in the 48th minute to copper-fasten the bonus point before Andrew Ward got a consolation goal a minute from time.

Cork Harlequins 0 Corinthian 2 (Darren Kimfley, Davy Carson)
The persistent southern rain meant Harlequins had to forego home advantage, switching their tie to Garryduff. Deprived of home comforts, they succumbed to a masterful Corinthian defensive performance as they counter-attacked with panache to out-manoeuvre the Cork side.

Darren Kimfley scored the reds first ever IHL goal inside two minutes when he took in Davy Carson’s pass and rifled over Reinout Mensink.

And Carson doubled the difference in the 23rd minute when he profited from Paul Murray’s mistake on the left flank and he penetrated the circle before beating Mensink at the near post.

Despite some wonderful trickery from Paul Lombard, Quins found clear openings hard to come by, and rarely threatened the Corinthian goal despite monopolising possession in the second half - a late yellow card for David Lombard just about summed up their day.

Pool B
Glenanne 2 (Shane O’Donoghue, Eddie O’Malley) Cookstown 3 (Timmy Smyth, Ian Sloan, Colin Donaldson)
Cookstown broke their Glenanne hoodoo to earn a first IHL win at the sixth attempt to deservedly take the spoils while the Tallaght club must be content with a single bonus point.

Ian Hughes won the corner duel with the returning Stephen Butler, keeping out seven of eight set-pieces for the Tyrone side in the game as Ian Sloan popped up to score the winner late on.

Earlier, Stephen Sloan and Timmy Smyth’s brilliance unlocked the Glens defence as they broke from their own 25 to eventually score via a defender’s stick in the second quarter.

Ian Sloan’s corner goal made it 2-0 to the Town but Eddie O’Malley gave the Glens a lifeline when Graham Shaw’s surge created the opportunity.

And Shane O’Donoghue scored a drag-flick from a Brennan switched corner to earn parity. The Glens had a stroke decision down-graded to a corner which went a begging before Donaldson popped up with the winner and three points.

TRR 2 (Peter Blakeney 2) Cork C of I 2 (John Jermyn, Nick Burns)
Three Rock Rovers salvaged a last-gasp draw at Grange Road, recovering from 2-0 down to level with scarcely 20 seconds left to deny Cork C of I a revenge win.

Rovers blitzed the Garryduff side last Spring but, with both sides fielding much changed squads, it was C of I who started the stronger.

John Jermyn scored an absolute thunderbolt drag-flick in the 12th minute to deservedly give the visitors the lead.

But after an early bout of lively action, the tie fell into a lull with Alex Moffett and Jermyn’s green-card sin-binnings two of the more noteworthy moments.

A potential own goal was chalked off for a push on a C of I defender while a couple of Rovers’ corners were easily dealt with.

It was cagey affair with little between the sides though Andy Herbert and Philly Smith stood out for C of I in keeping the hosts at bay.

And from that base, Nick Burns doubled the lead within a minute of the turnaround.

Jermyn drew a smart save from Stephen West with his corner effort before Pierre de Voux produced an immaculate steal to deny Alec Moffett.

With the intensity suitably raised, Pieter Steins-Bisschop drew the save of the day from Billy Lynch when he leapt off the ground from an initial block to palm a bunt a rising reverse over the bar.

But Rovers were piling forward. Sven Galjaardt was a constant threat especially along the endline but was unable to find a vital touch from two fine runs.

And a lifeline was earned 12 minutes from time when an off-kilter corner bounced up to Peter Blakeney to tap in unmarked on the right post for 2-1. It drew C of I from their shell and Stephen Parker flashed a flick wide from six yards.

But a goal was more likely to come at the other end. Mick Maguire fizzed over a reverse-stick effort while Galjaardt’s one-on-one was swept away.

He made one last dart down the endline in the final minute and Blakeney was on hand to squeeze under Lynch to steal two points.

Annadale 2 (Ian Hamilton 2) Lisnagarvey 4 (Greg Thompson 2, Mark Raphael, Timmy Cockram)
The experience of Mark Raphael and Brian Waring gave Lisnagarvey the upper hand as they claimed the Ulster derby with comfort in the Sunday IHL game with Dale keeper Jonny Moore proving his side's busiest player all game.

Garvey opened the scoring in the eighth minute when Raphael followed up a rebound from Timmy Cockram's drag flick. Annadale equalised eight minutes later viw Ian Hamilton's corner strike.

But the Lough Moss hosts were 3-1 down by the end of the second quarter as Timmy Cockram's reverse and Greg Thompson's rebound smash gave Garvey a comfortable advantage.

Hamilton scored his second drag flick to tighten the game up only for Thompson to get his second goal for Garvey to make it 4-2 at the start of the final quarter.

* Adrian Boehm's photos from Three Rock vs C of I can be seen here and Glenanne vs Cookstown can be seen here. Check out for more information from the weekend's games


Anonymous said...

great result for the red army!

Anonymous said...

Corinthians should be very proud of their first performance in IHL . A great bunch of guys led on the pitch by Cronje and off the pitch by Darley and Lyons . They have put a huge effort in this season and are very deserving of their win . They have it within themselves to go a long way . The way they work for each other and enjoy how they are playing with each other is a joy to watch . Keep it going guys , Stay humble and do your talking on the pitch. Nothing won yet but the season awaits ....

Anonymous said...

c of i were absolutely robbed

Anonymous said...

Watched the inst town game, isnt dominated but they didn't score any corners. Scorin four field goals showed the difference between the teams. Monkstown corners weren't a factor either. Isnt showed experience counts for a lot

Anonymous said...

go on the reds!

Anonymous said...

CHC dominated the game against quins. Murray didn't touch the ball once all game. Shouldve been at least 4-0.

Anonymous said...

ULSTER 2 (inst,cookstown) LEINSTER 1 (pem).

Anonymous said...

thats the DAB!

Anonymous said...

Very good result for Cookstown and Inst..

Anonymous said...

CHC - Leinster?????.... sorry 5:08

Anonymous said...

yeah - but chc weren't playing an ulster side. so ulster 2 leinster 1

Anonymous said...

8.50pm - I think he means Ulster vs Leinster games. CHC beat Quins so he wouldn't be counting that for this particular petty bit of oneupmanship


Anonymous said...

Cookstown finally put in a performance against one of the top sides in Ireland to show that on their day they can be as good as anyone!

Anonymous said...

the way monkstown played yesterday anyone would have beaten them and they got off to a very unfortunate start robinson knew nothing bout that goal

Anonymous said...

to 2.52am - CI may have been robbed but they left themselves open for it by falling further and further back in the second half.

They were reasonably in control until the 2nd goal and then offered so little going forward. But for an amazing save and some scuffed chances, Rovers should have been back on terms earlier.

They did get lucky with the late goal but CI must really rue taking the foot off the pedal.

Anonymous said...

Quins were really poor against a very well drilled Corinthian team. Quins didn't muster a single shot on target for the whole game. Having said that both teams had only one corner each & the playing conditions were very poor. I would expect Corinthian to be in with a good shout of a semi-final spot but Quins will really struggle to make any impact.

Anonymous said...

No coverage of Men's IHL in Irish Times & tiny para in Independent ?

Anonymous said...


Noticed that myself. Has someone in the IHA annoyed our IT reporters.

Anonymous said...

best way to help is write a few emails to the IT and the indo's sports desk and ask for more coverage, say you're disappointed it wasn't there this week as it was a big weekend of matches.

think the times usually have the email on their website and in their sports section.

Anonymous said...

The Fox needs to work on the guns if he is going to whip the top off afer he scores..

Anonymous said...

It's The Fox's slight and cunning that gets him the goals, any bigger and he would be spotted lurking at the back post

Anonymous said...

Sure what do Quins have to worry about?? Top two always qualify in Munster. So the top two forever will be COI and Quins.

Seriously, are they having a laugh...

So, this is the tournament that the Munster Branch wanted for so long, so the top two teams in Munster wouldn't be left out of the limelight.

So, if anyone from Irish Hockey is reading, in Munster, have number 1 in the Munster league at the end of the season qualify automatically for IHL.

Then have number 2 and 3 in the Munster League do a two leg play off for the second position. If that is put in place.

Munster League = Joke. Bit like the Scottish football league.

Leinster and Ulster hockey is where it is at right now as proved by the IHL playoffs and Irish Senior Cup....

Anonymous said...

3:59 keep on stirring eventually someone will bite.......

Anonymous said...

3:59; What a load of rubbish. Nationwide league, sure why not give Ulster and Leinster 5 automatic spots

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

To the comment at 3.59 pm!!!Its not C of Is fault or Quins fault that the Munster league is poor. They just get on with it. They would love if their league was stronger but there is nothing they can do.Dry your eyes and stop coming on this with stupid suggestions. They both are well good enough to be in the Ihl.

Anonymous said...

This is 3:59 here.

To all the comments below mine.

Didn't the Munster Branch at some point complain to the point they were protesting some years ago about how they only get exposure a few times a year, playing against other teams in Ireland?

Munster have produced some exceptional players over the years, no doubt about that, but I still stand by what I say.

Also, the reason the Munster League is a joke is because COI and Quins have dominated for so long.

I stick by what I have said. Leinster and Ulster are producing some quality hockey right now and will be for some time to come..

COI and Quins won't make the playoffs again, but not to worry, they will always be in the IHL groups for many years to come....

Anonymous said...

there is one thing c of i and quins could do to help themselves! join the leinster league!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

8.54 - surefire way to help kill off the gam down there, think of a better alternative.

Anonymous said...

For C of I and Quins to join the Leinster league would kill the game down in Munster. To 3.59 pm- C of I and Quins both deserved to be in the Ihl. You may look back in a few months and wonder why you said neither C of I and Quins would make the play offs. C of I have 3 home games and one away game left. I can see them qualifying. Quins on the other hand have an uphill battle but you never know what Quins are going to produce so don't be so arrogant and write them off.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with ye arrogant Leinster people are you telling me CI and Quins aren t good enough for the Ihl we qualify 1st and 2nd every year big deal.If CI and Quins were playing up in Leinster we'd be up there challenging for the title! The problem is all these sides like Rovers and Corinthinas are way over rated!Just look at the talent we have down in Munster jj and hobbsey prob two of the best on the Irish team! then to Quins Paul Lombard,Seany Nic and two blacks need i say more!
CI man