The battle to avoid the relegation playoff place is heating up with YMCA and Pembroke both picking up useful results in their bid to stay in the top tier of the men's EY Hockey League.

For YMCA, it was their second win in three outings and while they remain in ninth place, their form guide has given them a huge chance of avoiding the playoff after they beat Corinthian 2-1.

They trailed 1-0 at Wesley to a Craig Mackay goal after just seven minutes before penalty corner goals from Grant Glutz and Ben Campbell swapped the lead in the first half. No further goals came but there was plenty of drama as YM held on for the win.

Pembroke, meanwhile, saw Alan Sothern score twice in the last three minutes to earn a 4-4 draw against Monkstown, putting a dent in Town’s outside title aspirations. Pembroke led twice in the first half via Jack Ryan and Greg Chambers before a Gareth Watkins hat trick and one from Mark Gibbons seemed to swing the tie Monkstown’s way.

Lisnagarvey’s position at the top was strengthened by the outcome as they won 4-3 at Three Rock Rovers with two first quarter goals laying the base for the win. They hold a five-point lead over Banbridge but now with two games in hand over the nearest rivals.

Bann were 2-1 winners over UCD who fronted up well but could not catch a break as their tough run now extends to five defeats. For Bann, they have 22 out of the last 24 available as Josh Moffett’s double put them on course for the result.

Glenanne made it three wins in a row to move up to fifth place as they won 6-4 – for the second week running – against Annadale with Stu Ronan and Johnny McCormack’s goals in the last 10 minutes proving vital. Dale are now 11 points adrift at the bottom.