Cookstown in title chance
Published 23/02/2009 | 00:00
Cookstown will get the chance to clinch the Podium Premier League title on Saturday... more than a month earlier than anticipated.
The Tyrone lads beat Fingal 5-4 in a thrilling Irish Senior Cup second round tie in Dublin on Saturday but won't be able to contest this week's quarter-finals as they await the winners of the delayed second round tie between Cork Harlequins and Banbridge.
Cookstown’s league game with Bangor will go ahead now instead of being pushed back for five weeks.
"It gives us the chance to wrap up the title earlier than expected, and start concentrating on the IHL and the Irish Senior Cup," says skipper Ian Hutchinson.
"It won't be easy at Bangor, but at least we know we need just one point from our final three league games."
Hutchinson and his team-mates were sweating over the final minutes of their cup tie in Dublin when Fingal staged a remarkable recovery to come from 5-2 down to almost force extra time.
Two goals from Timmy Smyth and one each from Andy Barbour, David Ames and the skipper himself saw them squeeze through to earn a home quarter-final against either Cork Harlequins or arch rivals Banbridge who finally won their delayed first round tie at Raphoe, where Eugene Magee struck twice in the narrow 3-2 success.
Annadale will face Corinthian in next week's quarter-final at Jordanstown after they gained revenge on Lisnagarvey, who beat them 2-1 in the league last week, by winning the cup tie 3-2.
Bangor and North Down bowed out to Leinster giants Three Rock Rovers and Glenanne respectively, and these two Dublin heavyweights will now meet for the right to reach the last four.
Two goals from Simon Todd earned Mossley a 3-2 win over Civil Service and a tough test against holders Pembroke awaits them in the next round.
Kilkeel crashed through the 100 goals barrier when they beat Armagh 15-0 to close the gap on leaders North Down in Senior One.
Irish Senior Cup 1st round: Raphoe 2 (J Corry, R Patterson) Banbridge 3 (E Magee 2, B McCandless); 2nd round: Lisnagarvey 2 (J Gray, T Cockram) Annadale 3 (P Caruth 2, N Hamilton); Fingal 4 (M Ryan, A Sweeney, T Parsons, D Bane) Cookstown 5 (T Smyth 2, A Barbour, D Ames, I Hutchinson); Bangor 2 (S Hunter, J McAuley) Three Rock Rovers 3 (P Blakeney, A McConnell, P Shanahan); North Down 1 (M Forrest) Glenanne 3 (J Kane 2, S Butler); Mossley 3 (S Todd, A Coulter) Civil Service 2 (A Gill, R Shiels); Corinthian 6 (B Doherty 3, D Carson 2, M Warren) Railway Union 2 (K Carroll, M Egner)
Senior One: Kilkeel 15 (S Graham 3, W Annett 3, N Stevenson 2, E Agnew 2, E Coulter, J Aiken, K Bingham, G Russell) Armagh 0; Belfast Harlequins 2 (D Anderson 2) Portadown 2 (G Titler, C Thompson); South Antrim 3 (R McConkey, C Redpath, C Campbell) Queen's 4 (S Watt 2, A Downey, M Campbell); Ballynahinch 3 (S Hunter, A Miller, G Graham) Newry 6 (R Nummy 4, K McCombe, C Henning)