Three Rock fight back to beat Banbridge

©: Adrian Boehm

Three Rock Rovers recorded a rare win at Havelock Park as their 4-1 win over Banbridge continued the Co Down side’s tough run, a third loss in succession in Ireland’s EY Hockey League.

It was a battle between the two sides that qualified for the EHL, winning the three main trophies last season in Ireland but both have had slow starts to their campaigns.

Also, both clubs were shy some key men with Eugene Magee, Owen Magee and Jonny McKee all out for Bann while Jody Hosking, Richard Pautz, David Kane and James Walker – out until January – were out for Rovers. On the flip side, Irish Under-21 John Mullins made his Rovers’ debut .

Three Rock started well, moving the ball at pace and winning three corners which Gareth Lennox dealt with before Bann got a foothold.

During that time, the hosts won a corner and a double switch fell to Neil Gilmore to thump home via deflection for 1-0. Against the run of play, Rovers got back on terms from a melee with Kevin Mullins the scorer. Lennox made a blockbuster save to deny Luke Madeley from pc4 before Rovers went in front via Mitch Darling – though Bann argued it hit a foot in the build-up.

The hosts bossed the early stages of the second half with the key moment coming when Jamie Wright won a corner which was upgraded to a stroke when it hit a body on the line. Jamie Carr, though, saved from Philip Brown in one of his first acts of the season having coming on at half-time for his first appearance since the Euro Under-21s.

Rovers took full advantage of the reprieve with Ross Canning slotting home from the top of the circle in the 54th minute for 3-1. Ben Walker then deflected in a corner for the fourth.

Glenanne lead the table thanks to a 2-0 win over Railway Union with Stephen Brownlow and Shane O’Donoghue scoring corner goals in the third quarter.

Lisnagarvey saw their perfect record come to an end due to a 2-2 draw with lowly ranked Cookstown, Scott McCabe the scorer of the equalising goal. Irish internationals Jonny Bell and Neal Glassey had put Garvey in front twice.