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Stephen Kelso and Luke Russell to the four in Irish Senior Cup

By Graham Hamilton

Published 02/11/2015

Man on: John Watson closes in on Avoca's Kevin Mellott
Man on: John Watson closes in on Avoca's Kevin Mellott

Stephen Kelso and Luke Russell are two who seldom make the headlines but both made a name for themselves as the Irish Senior Cup got under way.

Eight Ulster teams will be among the 16 going into the hat for Wednesday's much anticipated second round draw but it was, unquestionably, the goalscoring ability of Kelso and Russell that was the talking points of the opening round.

Many thought it would be the Irish Hockey League giants that would be running up big scores. Instead it was provincial teams Instonians and Kilkeel which caught the eye, with Kelso claiming four in Inst's 9-1 romp over Avoca while Russell also got a quartet as the Mournemen mauled Cork Harlequins 14-1.

Now both teams await Wednesday's draw to see if they can avoid the big guns as they crave a lengthy run in the competition which, now in it's 122nd year, is one of the oldest in the world.

There were no first round shocks, with holders Banbridge squeezing through 5-3 at UCD to join fellow Ulster clubs Lisnagarvey, Annadale, Instonians, Kilkeel and Mossley in the next round as well as Cookstown and South Antrim who received byes.

Bann made hard work of their success in Dublin but two goals from Neil Gilmore made sure of progress, while Australian Robbie McGuire had cause to celebrate when he scored his first two goals for Annadale in their 4-1 win at Belfast Harlequins.

Lisnagarvey had five different marksmen as they eased past Civil Service 5-0 at Hillsborough and Mossley can thank Jordan Robinson and David Glenny for getting the goals in a 2-1 win that made their cross-border trip to Rathgar worthwhile.

Ulster interest in the Irish Hockey Trophy, though, lessened with Portadown and Antrim both losing in the two first round games played on Saturday, although Bangor, Campbellians and Queen's all had byes.

Irish Senior Cup 1st round: UCD 3 (A Ramsey 3) Banbridge 5 (N Gilmore 2, B McCandless, J Moffatt, O Magee); Belfast Harlequins 1 (J Hutchinson) Annadale 4 (R McGuire 2, C Jackson, C Campbell); Instonians 9 (S Kelso 4, J Corry 2, A Patterson, J Dowling, R Cummins) Avoca 1; Kilkeel 14 (L Russell 4, D Finlay 3, M Stevenson 2, E Agnew 2, D Rae, W Annett, N Stevenson) Cork Harlequins 1 (D Hobbs); North Down 3 (G Bailie 2, D Shepherd) Dublin YMCA 6 (T Ritchie 3, G Gibney, J Tobin, R Jackson); Railway Union 7 Raphoe 1 (G Patterson); Lisnagarvey 5 (A Forrest, N Glassey, P Gleghorne, A Williamson, T Cockram) Civil Service 0; Newry 1 (R Irwin) Glenanne 7; Rathgar 1 (A Browne) Mossley 2 (J Robinson, D Glenny)

Irish Hockey Trophy 1st round: Portadown 2 (S Johnston, S Kirkland) Bandon 3; Fingal 5 (D Wheeler 2, A Sweeney 2, S Dempsey) Antrim 0

Ulster Senior League: Campbellians 2 (C Mack, A Burnside) Queen's 3 (A Bell, R Kelly, M Warnock); Bangor 6 (R Tate 2, R Burgess, S Scales, D McClune, R Cunningham) Armagh 1 (B Mackie); Portrush 2 Ballynahinch 3

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