Irish Hockey League: Banbridge into Champions Trophy play-offs despite defeat

Banbridge's Stephen Dowds
Stephen Dowds put Banbridge ahead against Cork C of I before the Munster club fought back to win

Banbridge secured a place in the end of season Champions Trophy play-offs despite suffering a surprise 2-1 defeat at Cork C of I on Saturday afternoon.

New champions' Lisnagarvey's 5-2 success over Glenanne at Comber Road ensured their Ulster rivals can finish no lower than fourth place.

At the other end of the table Annadale remain the favourites to be relegated despite a 3-3 draw at Railway Union.

Cookstown are also still deep in trouble after losing 2-1 at Monkstown.

Banbridge struggled to find their best form in Cork and failed to make five penalty corners count before Stephen Dowds converted a penalty stroke to put them ahead.

However Cork C of I, playing for their All Ireland League survival, struck back with John Jermyn equalising from a penalty corner and then Julian Dale scored a vital winning goal late in the game.

Lisnagarvey's 5-2 success over Glenanne at Comber Road ensured their Ulster rivals can finish no lower than fourth and Bann join Garvey and Monkstown in the play-offs which will be held at Banbridge at the end of April.

Champions Garvey extended their winning streak to 14 games with Andy Forrest scoring twice and the others coming from James Lorimer, Matthew Nelson and Michael Watt.

Despite rallying from 2-0 down to draw 3-3 at Railway Union thanks to two goals from International Michael Robson and one for James Cox, Annadale remain bottom of the table.

However Cookstown were beaten 2-1 at Monkstown and only two points separate the two Ulster sides with two games to go.

On Sunday both are at home with Annadale entertaining Pembroke and Cooktown facing Lisnagarvey.

In Saturday's other game Three Rock Rovers remain in fourth place after a 1-1 draw with Pembroke.

In the women IHL a goal from Chloe Brown gave Ards a 1-0 win at Railway Union in their rearranged game in Dublin - a result that secures All Ireland League hockey for the County Down side next season.

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