It wasn't pretty at times but Lisnagarvey weren't complaining after a 2-1 EY Irish Hockey League win over Monkstown in the top-of-the-table cash at Comber Road saw them move five points clear of the Dublin side at the summit.
There were understandable signs of ring-rustiness from both teams as they returned to national league action after an eight-week break.
Garvey captain James Corry said: "It probably wasn't our best performance of the season but for the first game back it was okay.
"We started really well and were much better than them in the first quarter but they got into it more, they had a good second and third but to win by one goal, we'll take that all day."
Andy Williamson got the opener in the 12th minute when he scored with a cracking backhand shot into the roof of the net after collecting a pinpoint diagonal pass from Peter McKibbin.
But Monkstown got their reward after a spell of pressure three minutes into the second half when Rory Nichols fired in a penalty corner for the equaliser.
In the 48th minute, James Lorimer replied in kind when he fired the ball into the roof of the net for a brilliant winner.
Following results elsewhere, Banbridge moved back into the play-off zone after Irish international Johnny McKee hit four of the goals in a crushing 8-0 win over YMCA in Dublin.
But Annadale remain anchored to the bottom of the table and are now five points adrift after Alan Sothern hit a double hat-trick in Pembroke's 6-2 win at Serpentine Avenue, where Patrick Rose and Ryan Burgess scored the consolation goals.
Results: EY IHL: Glenanne 1 UCD 2; Lisnagarvey 2 Monkstown 1; Pembroke 6 Annadale 1; Three Rock 4 Corinthian 4; YMCA 0 Banbridge 8.
Ulster Premier: Ballynahinch 0 Kilkeel 11; Instonians 4 Mossley 0; Portadown 4 Queen's 3; South Antrim 3 Raphoe 0.
Intermediate League: CI 5 Portrush 3; Harlequins 6 Antrim 2.
Irish Indoor Trophy: Semi-final: Three Rock 10 Banbridge 2. Third/fourth place play-off: Banbridge 4 Limerick 0.