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Weekend Hockey - Roundup

Saturday's top Ulster Premier clash between Belfast Harlequins and Instonians certainly lived up to its billing as the hosts came from 3-2 down to secure a dramatic 4-3 win at Deramore. 

Quins got the breakthrough when Robin Quigley took a quick free and set up Luke McClelland who slapped the ball into the net. Chris Barnes levelled matters with a trademark drag flick to level the score and then, at the other end, Chris Lemon sent a half volley crashing off the post. 

Inst immediately went on the offensive and when the ball fell to Barnes at the top of the D he turned and fired a low reverse past the onrushing Iain Kelly to make the score 2-1 at the break. After the restart, Quins came out strongly and David Coates made it 2-2 with a powerful drag flick. Inst’s other winter signing, Dane Ward, then made it 3-2 to the visitors when he unleashed a fierce reverse into the roof of the net.

After Quins captain John Metcalfe made a fantastic goal line save to keep the deficit to one goal, Lemon forced a penalty stroke and McClelland made no mistake from the spot to level the game at 3-3. With time running out, the hosts went on the offensive and won two corners, and from the second of these, Lemon made it 4-3.

As the clock continued to tick down Quins gave away another corner, but with Barnes sending in the shot, veteran goalkeeper Kelly made a crucial save. This result, while damaging Inst's title hopes, will keep alive Quins' hopes of lifting the trophy or at least finishing in the top three.

Bangor remain in pole position after a 3-1 win in Newry, where the away side led 2-0 at the break after goals from Adam Watson and Ryan Burgess. Newry pulled one back through Matty Russell  but Simon Cox replied for Bangor to seal the deal.

In Saturday's other games, Portadown piled more misery on struggling Raphoe with a 4-1 win at Edenvilla while South Antrim defeated Mossley 1-0.

In the EYHL, it was a good day all round for Lisnagarvey, who defeated Monkstown 5-1 in Dublin where Annadale snatched a vital point from a 1-1 draw with Three Rock.

The result at Grange Road certainly did Dale's chances of staying up a power of good while also helping Garvey, whose cause was also assisted when leaders Glenanne were held 2-2 by Cork C of I. Shane O’Donoghue’s equaliser saw Glenanne add another late point to their total, one which keeps them seven points clear at the top. Lisnagarvey now look the most likely side to challenge the Glens after their thumping win over Monkstown at the Merrion Fleet Arena. 

They led 3-0 after 12 minutes thanks to goals from Daniel Buser, Matthew Nelson and Andy Williamson and were 4-0 up at half-time. Guy Sarratt got one back but Neal Glassey completed the rout with 12 minutes to go, leaving Garvey 11 points off top spot but with three games in hand and Glenanne still to visit Comber Road.

Three Rock however could not eat into their gap as they shared the spoils with Annadale at a snowy Grange Road. The tie just beat the weather after a pitch inspection but was a drab affair mainly with little to excite those in attendance. Peter Blakeney broke the deadlock with six minutes to go with a knee-high deflection but John Taylor levelled for Dale four minutes later.

Meanwhile, Ballymoney have moved three points clear at the top of the women's  Ulster Premier League table after goals from Sara Gardner, Jan Hamilton and Nikki Parke gave them a 3-0 win over Randalstown at the Antrim Forum.

Title favourites Queen's, aiming for an eighth straight win, dropped their first points of the campaign when they were held to a scoreless draw by Rainey in Magherafelt. However, the students have played three games fewer than Money and remain title favourites having been denied a win by Rainey keeper Erin Mulholland, who was in unbeatable form.

Elsewhere, champions Lurgan were 4-1 home winners over Banbridge and North Down defeated basement side Portadown 3-0 in the relegation battle in Comber. That result, helped by two goals from Rachel Lucas, leaves North Down four points better off than their bottom of the table opponents.

Comber coach Peter Whyte said: "In most games this season, we have had spells where we have played good hockey but struggled to maintain it for the duration of the game."

"But we will, hopefully, use this win as a springboard for the remainder of the season." 

In Senior One, Lisnagarvey had double reason to celebrate as not only did they beat Victorians 3-0 but nearest rivals Ballymena were held 1-1 by Ballyclare. Top scorer of the day was Jill Kennedy who hit a hat-trick in Priorians' 5-0 win over Armagh as Ulster hockey's 'Derry girls' stayed in promotion contention.


RESULTS
Men

EYHL: 
Three Rock Rovers 1 (P Blakeney) Annadale 1 (J Taylor)
Monkstown 1 (G Sarratt) Lisnagarvey 5 (A Williamson 2, D Buser, Nelson, N Glassey)
Glenanne 2 (G Shaw, S O'Donoghue) Cork C of I 2 (M Gallagher, J Jermyn)

Ulster Premier League:
Belfast Harlequins 4 (L McClelland 2, D Coates, C Lemon) Instonians 3 (C Barnes 2, D Ward)
South Antrim 1 (W Phillips) Mossley 0
Newry Olympic 1 (M Russell) Bangor 3 (A Watson, R Burgess, S Cox)
Portadown 4 (A Stevenson 3, J Brown) Raphoe 1 (T Orr)


Women
Internationals


Saturday:
Spain 3 Ireland 1 (A Naughton)

Sunday:
Spain 2 Ireland 3 (A O'Flanagan 2, K Mullan)

Ulster Premier League:

Lurgan 4 (J-A Wilson, C Stewart 2, S McClure) Banbridge 1 (P Haugh)
North Down 3 (R Lucas 2, A Kimber) Portadown 0
Rainey 0 Queen's 0
Randalstown 0 Ballymoney 3 (S Gardner, J Hamilton, N Parke)

Senior One:
Ballyclare 1 (J Jones) Ballymena 1 (R Reynolds)
Lisnagarvey 3 (R Houston, A Jebb, J Flynn) Victorians 0
Priorians 5 (J Kennedy 3, E Allen 2) Armagh 0
Raphoe 1 (E Harpur) Omagh 2 (A Buchanan, R Shortt)


Monday
Ulster Premier:

Dungannon v Queen's (8pm)
Portadown v Ulster Elks (8.15pm)





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