Holders Kilkeel give Dale somethingtothinkabout
DEFENDING champions Kilkeel aren’t going to release their grip on the Anderson Cup easily.
And, if to prove the point, the Ulster Premier League team squeezed through 3-2 against Irish Hockey League club Annadale on Saturday to set up an intriguing second-leg clash at Strathearn on Wednesday evening.
The other IHL teams — Lisnagarvey and Cookstown — each hammered in eight goals in their opening ties to all but assure themselves of progressing to Saturday’s quarter-finals, with the second legs on Wednesday and Tuesday respectively now surely academic.
But Annadale are going to have to work hard to join them in the last eight, needing to pull back the one goal deficit in the second leg if they are to face Banbridge in Saturday’s second round.
It was a case of Kilkeel’s top scorer Luke Russell and the Dale’s top scorer Ryan Burgess each scoring twice in the big game at the Mourne venue, and in the end it was an Ashton Graham strike that separated the teams.
Andy Williamson (below) was the weekend’s top marksman, scoring four in Lisnagarvey’s 8-3 win at derby rivals South Antrim.
The South came from three down to make a game of it, with a penalty stroke conversion from Jack Moore and two penalty corner strikes from Paddy Cochrane, but Garvey pulled away in the second half to almost certainly book a quarter-final place against Bangor.
Cookstown once again shared the goals around in an 8-1 success over Portadown, with Stuart Smyth and Raymond Miller each scoring twice but, Greg Allen, Mark Crooks, Michael Kerr and Callum Anderson were also on the mark, as they can almost certainly look forward to Saturday’s second round against Newry.
And Instonians have the edge in the remaining second leg tie on Thursday evening when they host Mossley having beaten the Newtownabbey team 2-1 in Saturday’s first leg.
It was Dane Ward who did the damage, scoring from close range in the first half and then deflecting in William Robinson’s penalty corner in the second half before Jordan Robinson converted a late penalty corner.
There were wins for Ballynahinch and CI in the Intermediate League and the top two now face each other tonight in a crucial clash.