Lisnagarvey plan Cork double
Trips to Cork can be a daunting task for Ulster teams, but champions Lisnagarvey successfully overcame the first stage of their double trip to the deep south and are now looking forward to the second in a fortnight's time.
A last gasp goal from Greg Thompson gave the Blues a crucial 2-1 Irish Hockey League win over Cork C of I to put them top of Pool A after the second round of games.
And with C of I's talisman, Irish international John Jermyn, out of action for around two months after fracturing his ankle in training, Garvey are confident they can repeat the dose when they return to Garryduff on November 12 for their Irish Senior Cup second round clash.
Jermyn's injury means he'll have a fight on his hands to get back to full fitness in time for Ireland's Olympic Qualifier early in the New Year.
His absence has taken away Cork's most potent penalty corner exponent, giving Garvey a good opportunity to make it through to the Cup quarter-finals.
On Saturday Garvey trailed early on, but Thompson levelled and then scored his 13th goal of the season in the last minute to give his team two wins from two in the IHL and a single point lead over Leinster's Pembroke and Dublin YMCA. Annadale lie fourth in the pool after slumping to a 4-1 defeat against YMCA.
In Pool B Banbridge, Cookstown and Instonians all remain in the frame for reaching the play-offs. Banbridge picked up a bonus point win with a 4-0 romp over Cork Harlequins to move up to third while Cookstown still lie second after drawing 2-2 with current leaders Monkstown.
The Tyrone team's captain Godfrey Irwin missed the game after being sidelined for a few months after suffering a fractured skull during the Eurohockey League the previous weekend.
Instonians stormed back from two goals down to beat Glenanne 3-2 — just the result Mark Irwin needed as he grapples successfully with the player-coach role following Neil Cooke's departure.
Meanwhile the Linden Cup final on New Year's Day will be between Bangor and Antrim.
Bangor came from a goal down to beat South Antrim in yesterday’s semi-final after a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw while Antrim beat Raphoe 3-1.
Chris Henry had given South a first-half lead but Simon Hunter set up Johnny Boyd for the equaliser and he, along with Stephen McLean and David Edwards converted penalty strokes to see the Seasiders through 3-2 in the shoot-out.
Antrim were three ahead of the Donegal men following goals from Johnny McMeekin, Lloyd Kane and Neil McCullough and it was left to Richard Patterson to score a consolation right at the death.