RAPHOE remain-top of the Ulster Hockey Mens League Senior One after a 5-2 win at Bangor on Sunday.
However, the side who play their home games at the Royal and Prior are in a great position. They lead North Down by three points and also have two games in hand.
On Saturday, Raphoe took the lead inside 10 minutes when Gavin Lecky controlled a long pass from Rodney Bates out of defence and fired a reverse stick shot across goal and into the bottom corner of Andy Seay’s net.
Bangor then had a five-minute spell were they tried to get back into the game but they couldn’t find a way past Johnny Rankin in Raphoe’s goals as he denied firstly Simon Hunter low to his left and then a double save from James Mottashaw at a Bangor short corner.
Having weathered the storm Raphoe scored two quick fire goals, Gavin Lecky scored his second goal of the game with another reverse stick shot this time picking up a pass from William Kilpatrick.
Then, five minutes from half-time, Matthew Lecky got in on the scoring act from Raphoe’s only short corner of the half his first effort was blocked by Simon Scales, his second effort blocked Andy Seay but they could do nothing with his third attempt as he fired in low from an acute angle. It was 3-0 at half-time.
Going into the second half Raphoe knew that the next goal scored could be crucial and it was the home team that scored first when Noah McKeown was allowed space at the top of the circle to fire a low drive past Rankin to pull the score back to 3-1.
Despite this set back Raphoe quickly regained their three-goal advantage when after breaking down a Bangor short corner Raphoe quickly counter attacked - inside 10 seconds Kilpatrick had picked the ball up on the half way line and fed it on to Johnny Long on the left, from here Long got to the back line before crossing the ball for Lee Coll to tuck home.
Bangor again tried to come back into the game and they forced several short corners but again could find no way past Rankin who was in inspired form as blocked from Simon Hunter turned a Mottashaw drag flick round the post with his stick and denied James Trimble with another double save.
With less than 10 minutes remaining Gavin Lecky on his 18th birthday completed his hat trick with another reverse stick shot, picking the ball up from Lee Coll he rounded the keeper and fired home.
With only four minutes left Bangor scored a consolation goal when from their 8th short corner Mottashaw finally got the better of Rankin as his drag flick rattled the back of the net to leave the final score 5 - 2 to Raphoe. Man of the match for Raphoe was keeper Johnny Rankin.
Next week Raphoe are at home to Newry, push back at the Royal and Prior School Grounds is 2.30pm.
Team: Johnny Rankin, Rodney Bates, Evan Lyttle, Alan Meehan, Matthew Lecky, William Kilpatrick, Ian McGonigle (Captain), Keith Meehan, George Patterson, Gavin Lecky, Johnny Long, Lee Coll, Richard Eaton.