Time is called on Garvey's cup bid
Monkstown 2 - Lisnagarvey 2 (Monkstown won 5-4 on penalty strokes)
Lisnagarvey's wait to regain the Irish Senior Cup goes on after they missed out to Monkstown following a penalty strokes shoot-out in Dublin yesterday afternoon.
The game, which ended 2-2 after normal time, was an excellent advert for hockey here but unfortunately will be remembered by many for the controversy when the umpires awarded the Dublin side their first equaliser even though the final hooter had sounded two seconds earlier.
Garvey naturally protested at the time but umpire Kris Cholewa then consulted with his colleague and declined to change his decision.
And although Garvey restored their lead in the second half, Monkstown levelled again two minutes from time to go on and win on strokes, with Garvey now 11 years since last landing the trophy.
Garvey captain Jonathan Bell, who was named man of the match, wasn't prepared to make an issue of it, but conceded that the decision was wrong and most of the crowd knew it.
"It's annoying that Monkstown got off the hook, for we deserved to win, but that's hockey," he said afterwards.
"Yes, the decision was wrong but we can't dwell on that.
"There are two more trophies to play for, the IHL and the Irish Champions Trophy, so we'll turn our attention to those."
Garvey played the better hockey on the day but Monkstown's direct running and physical game kept them in the frame.
When it came to penalty strokes, both teams converted all five and it was in the first round of sudden death that Garvey missed theirs.
The Ulster side got off to a tremendous start when Daniel Buser struck with a reverse shot after goalkeeper David Fitzgerald saved his first effort.
Neal Glassey, Buser again and Michael Watt all came close whereas any Monkstown pressure fizzled out when faced with the defensive pairing of Bell and Paul Gleghorne.
But the Dubliners levelled through David Carson on the stroke of half-time when it was evident the hooter had gone.
Sean Murray carved out the opening for Watt to put Garvey 2-1 ahead with 14 minutes remaining but Monkstown's late pressure was rewarded when Jonny Bruton scored at the back post from a penalty corner rebound.
Meanwhile, champions-elect Instonians had to put title celebrations on hold when Raphoe came from behind to beat them 2-1 with both goals coming from Luke Witherow.
Inst now go to Kilkeel in their final league game next Saturday holding a three point lead but also a considerably better goal difference, and it would take them to lose by more than ten goals to miss out on the title.
But South Antrim are relegated after North Down beat Newry 3-2 to leapfrog them with one game to go.
The Comber men complete their programme by hosting Mossley this evening and could also avoid the promotion/relegation play-off against the Senior League runners-up if they better Newry's result when they take on Belfast Harlequins also this evening.
Irish Senior Cup final: Lisnagarvey 2 (B Buser, M Watt) Monkstown 2 (D Carson, J Bruton). Monkstown won 5-4 on penalty strokes
Ulster Premier League: Mossley 1 (A Monaghan) Portadown 1 (J Brown); Belfast Harlequins 5 (L McClelland 4, J Hutchinson) Civil Service 5 (C Barnes 3, G Grundie, S Armstrong); North Down 3 (D Shepherd, P Wilson, S Dalzell) Newry 2 (J Taylor, K McWilliams); Raphoe 2 (L Witherow 2) Instonians 1 (A Patterson)
Senior League Top Four: Bangor 1 (H Dow) Campbellians 2 (J Easlie, C Bannister); Antrim 3 (L Kane, S Mitchell, E Wilson) Queen's 5 (R Blair 2, P Watt, M Warnock, G Leckey)
Sussex Regiment Cup: Cliftonville 2 (N McKimm, M McParland) Ballynahinch 2