Hold­ers Kil­keel give Dale some­thing­to­think­about

Belfast Telegraph - - SPORT - BY GRA­HAM HAMIL­TON

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.

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