Garvey go it alone in cup after Ulster trio bow out
If the Irish Senior Cup is to stay in Ulster for the third time in four years, then everything lies squarely on the shoulders of Lisnagarvey.
The Blues booked their place in the quarter-finals by beating Railway Union 2-0 on Saturday but fellow Ulster clubs Cookstown, Mossley and Queen's all made their exit, leaving Garvey as the province's sole survivors.
Pembroke's shoot-out win at Mossley means they are the first team into the semi-final draw but dates have still to be arranged for the three remaining quarter-finals, with Irish Hockey League and international commitments on the horizon.
The revised draw means that Garvey will take on Leinster provincial side Dublin YMCA for a place in the last four, with Three Rock on the road to Cork C of I and a Dublin derby between Glenanne and Monkstown.
Garvey never looked in trouble on Saturday after taking the lead in the second minute against Railway Union and although they controlled most of the game, the number of missed chances must be a bit worrying.
Sean Murray got that opener from a penalty corner rebound and the only other goal they managed was when Matthew Nelson met Neal Glassey's byline cutback right at the start of the second half.
Errol Lutton's lads sprayed the ball around superbly well but they looked a bit rusty upfront, with missed chances, good goalkeeping and choosing the wrong pass combining to deny them a handful of more goals.
But at the end of the day they are safely through, whereas Mossley, Cookstown and Queen's didn't make it.
Mossley had a good opportunity in that Pembroke travelled north without Irish internationals Alan Sothern and Kirk Shimmins and the provincial side pushed them all the way, forcing a 3-3 draw before agonisingly losing the penalty shoot-out.
Jordan Robinson struck twice and Aaron Boyd was also on the mark for Ricky Lee's lads during the 70 minutes but the one-on-one shoot-out saw Pembroke that bit more composed to edge their way through 4-3.
Cookstown knew their trip to Three Rock was always going to be a hard task, and so it proved. They finally went down 5-2, despite goals from Michael Kerr and Greg Allen.
But they can now turn their full attention to this Saturday's crucial IHL clash against Cork C of I at Steelweld Park, a game which could see them finally climb out of the bottom two.
Queen's, though, were never in the hunt against IHL leaders Glenanne and were hit for six.
Meanwhile, Chris Barnes made a dramatic return to Instonians in the Ulster Premier League when bagging five goals in their 9-1 win over Antrim.
There were also wins for Kilkeel in the Mourne derby against Newry, and South Antrim at Cliftonville.
Finally, Bangor, Civil Service and Raphoe all progressed in the Irish Hockey Trophy.
Stephen Hamill got two for the Seasiders in their 5-1 win at Portadown, Ross Anderson got a hat-trick as Service defeated Kilkenny 5-3 and Alan Meehan's brace set up Raphoe for a shock penalty shoot-out win at North Down.
Irish Senior Cup 2nd round: Lisnagarvey 2 (S Murray, M Nelson) Railway 0; Queen's 0 Glenanne 6 (S O'Donoghue 2, S Boucher, G Shaw, A Clayton, N Byrne); Three Rock 5 (J Mullins, J Hosking, B Walker, Darling, D Walsh) Cookstown 2 (M Kerr, G Allen). Quarter-final: Mossley 3 (J Robinson 2, A Boyd) Pembroke 3 (H Spain, C Murphy, K O'Hare) Pembroke won shoot-out 4-3
Irish Hockey Trophy 1st round: Civil Service 5 (R Anderson 3, A Gill, C Bannister) Kilkenny 3 (E Hughes 2, B Johnson); North Down 2 (J Bond, B Templeton) Raphoe 2 (A Meehan 2) Raphoe won shoot-out 2-1; Portadown 1 (A Stevenson) Bangor 5 (S Hamill 2, R Burgess, S Cox, M Willis)
Ulster Premier League: Instonians 9 (C Barnes 5, W Robinson 2, J Palmer, S Kelso) Antrim 1 (D Wilson); Kilkeel 3 (W Annett 2, E Agnew) Newry Olympic 1 C McKnight); Cliftonville 0 South Antrim 2 (A Glass 2)