Lisnagarvey on track for cup success after victory
Lisnagarvey are safely through to the Irish Senior Cup semi-finals... but both they and current all-Ireland champions Monkstown will be hoping to avoid each other in Wednesday's draw.
Garvey booked their place in the last four with a comfortable 6-2 win at Railway Union in Saturday's quarter-final to keep the Ulster flag flying but would prefer to be paired with either Three Rock Rovers or Glenanne rather than come up against a Monkstown team who have already put five past them this season.
In fact, Garvey head to Dublin this weekend to take on Monkstown in the EY Irish Hockey League, which is another reason they want to avoid meeting them so soon again in the February 27 semi-finals.
If Garvey are wanting to avoid Monkstown, then take it as read that Monkstown will also want to avoid Garvey, especially as Errol Lutton's lads underlined just how dangerous they can be by putting six past a Railway Union side that had high hopes of claiming a second successive Ulster scalp after eliminating holders Banbridge in the previous round.
It was midfield sensation Sean Murray that put Garvey ahead with a tremendous goal and when Wallace High schoolboy Matthew Nelson added a second, the chances of a shock were disappearing.
James Dick pulled one back for Railway but Neal Glassey made it 3-1 and then international colleague Mikey Watt set up Daniel Buser for Garvey's fourth.
Mark English narrowed the leeway again but Nelson's second coupled with one from Timmy Cockram sealed the win, even though MacArthur scored late on to reduce the arrears to 6-3.
Monkstown came from behind to beat Pembroke Wanderers 4-1 yesterday with international Jonny Bruton bagging two while a Shannon Boucher hat-trick helped Glenanne see off Dublin YMCA 5-3 and two goals from Jody Hosking squeezed Three Rock through at Cork C of I.
Just two games survived the wintry weather in the Ulster Senior League, with Mossley chalking up a good 2-1 win at Civil Service and Portadown bagging the three points with a 3-2 success at Newry.
It was Joel Cathcart and Jordan Robinson who steered Mossley away from the relegation zone although it needed goalkeeper Owen Doole to save a Chris Barnes penalty stroke to keep his side in the frame.
Barnes converted a penalty corner to set up a tense finish but Mossley held on.
Goals from Zac McClelland, Neil Gilmore and Stuart Kirkland earned the Ports their win at Newry, although strikes from Colin McKnight and Adam Foster kept matters interesting until the end.
Meanwhile Cliftonville became the first team to claim Bangor's scalp in the Senior League when they won 3-2 at the Aurora Complex. And this result against the league leaders opens up the title race as it allows Queen's and Campbellians back into contention even though their games were weather casualties.
William Booker and a David Hurley reverse into the roof of the net put Cliftonville on their way, with Euan Patterson getting their third, and for a change goals from Bangor's top two goalscorers, Ryan Burgess and Rhys Cunningham, weren't enough to preserve their unbeaten record.
RESULTS: Irish Senior Cup quarter-finals: Railway Union 3 (M English, J Dick, E MacArthur) Lisnagarvey 6 (M Nelson 2, S Murray, N Glassey, D Buser, T Cockram); Cork C of I (S Sweetnam) Three Rock 2 (J Hosking 2); Dublin YMCA 3 (B Campbell, E Prehn, A Jones) Glenanne 5 (S Boucher 3, G Shaw, J Brennan); Pembroke 1 (A Sothern) Monkstown 4 (J Bruton 2, A Ward, G Cole)
Ulster Premier League: Civil Service 1 (C Barnes) Mossley 2 (J Cathcart, J Robinson); Newry 2 (C McKnight), A Foster) Portadown 3 (Z McClelland, N Gilmore, S Kirkland); Kilkeel v Raphoe (postponed); North Down v Instonians (postponed); South Antrim v Belfast Harlequins (postponed)
Senior One: Bangor 2 R Burgess, R Cunningham) Cliftonville 3 (W Booker, D Hurley, E Patterson); Armagh v Campbellians (postponed); Portrush v Queen's (postponed).