YMCA secure place in the EY Hockey League for first time
YMCA almost contrived to blow it but eventually secured a place in the men’s EY Hockey League for the first time as they beat Bangor in a shoot-out at the Mardyke to win the provincial promotion play-off series.
The Ballinteer-based club looked all but home and hosed with 10 minutes to go of the playoff final when Sam Hyland put them 4-1 ahead following a largely dominant performance.
Indeed, they had led 3-0 via a Ben Campbell double and one from Jamie Tobin.
But suddenly got white-line fever and the coast Ulster side pounced to score a scarcely believable three times in the last eight minutes with Ryan Burgess scoring a hat trick.
Level at 4-4, it sent the game to a shoot-out but YM regathered with goalkeeper Jakim Bernsden keeping out two efforts before Andrew Jones popped in the winning effort.
It was a suitably dramatic endgame to match their season. The Dubliners looked down and out in January, falling nine points behind Corinthian in Leinster Division One but got a big reprieve when a registration error from Dublin University saw the Y pick up three points from an initial 2-1 loss.
They will replace Railway Union in the top tier as they lost 7-0 to Lisnagarvey in a game they needed to win. Cookstown will meet Bangor next Sunday in the last promotion-relegation play-off tie.
Pembroke, meanwhile, completed the line-up for the EY Champions Trophy with a 4-3 win over Cork C of I, Alan Sothern bringing his tally to 10 goals in a week with a brace.