Garvey in last-gasp strike again at Banbridge
Lisnagarvey are fast gaining a reputation of killing off their opponents in the final minutes of the game.
They did it again yesterday afternoon at Banbridge where Sean Murray's winner came just 30 seconds from the end of a cracking Irish Senior Cup tie which saw Errol Lutton's lads sneak through 3-2.
And 24 hours earlier they were similar last-gasp assassins when they scored twice in the final 90 seconds to chalk up a 6-3 win at Pembroke in the rearranged EY Irish Hockey League game in Dublin to keep them tucked in behind early leaders Glenanne with a game in hand.
But if Garvey are making a name for themselves with late goals, they are also showing the character within the side - in all three competitive games this season to date they have had to come from behind to win.
Yesterday's success against the cup holders highlighted both aspects, with Garvey falling behind to Philip Brown's sixth-minute penalty corner and then going 2-1 ahead with a double striker from skipper Daniel Buser.
His first came from a well- worked deflection from a penalty corner and the second saw him pop up at the back post to slot home. Alex Tinney levelled matters from a penalty corner rebound in the second half and suddenly Bann had their best spell of the game and really should have sealed matters with Bruce McCandless, Fraser Mills and Matthew Allister all coming close.
But they were made pay dearly when Sean Murray took a quick free in the final minute and managed to weave the ball into the circle before firing home for a dramatic winner.
"I knew time was running out and I just managed to get the ball into the circle before having a swing to see it flash home," said Murray afterwards.
"We're getting a lot of late goals at the moment, but we'll have to stop going behind early on and making life difficult for ourselves."
Altogether there are eight Ulster teams among the 16 going into the second round draw, with strikes from Oliver Flack, Peter Caruth and Craig Getty giving Annadale a 3-0 success at Dublin University yesterday.
Two goals from David Finlay earned Kilkeel a 2-2 draw at Avoca, and it was goals from Eddie Agnew, Gareth Russell and Mark Stevenson in the shoot-out that saw them advance to join Mossley, South Antrim, Queen's and Belfast Harlequins who received byes, Garvey and the winners of the delayed tie between Instonians and Cookstown.
Back to the IHL, and it was an Andy Williamson hat-trick that helped Garvey to their 6-3 win at Pembroke on Saturday while a Philip Brown hat-trick of penalty corners earned them a 4-0 win over Annadale.
Cookstown lost for the third time by the odd goal when they went down 2-1 at Cork C of I.
Meanwhile, the opening round of fixtures in the Ulster Premier League saw wins for Bangor, Harlequins, Portadown, Mossley, Newry and North Down.
Chris Barnes rammed in four goals for Civil Service but still ended up on the losing side in the nine-goal thriller at Bangor.
Irish Senior Cup: Banbridge 2 (Brown, Tinney) Lisnagarvey 3 (Buser 2, Murray); Dublin Univ. 0 Annadale 3 (Flack, Caruth, C Getty); Clontarf 1 (Murray) Railway 3; Avoca 2 (Elmes 2) Kilkeel 2 (Finlay 2) Kilkeel won shoot-out 3-2; Rathgar 0 Pembroke 4 (Burns, Sothern, Spain, K Shimmins); Monkstown 9 (Sarratt 4, Quirke, Carson, Cole, Smith, Kenning) Corinthian 0
EY Irish Hockey League: Pembroke 3 (Sothern 2, Burns) Lisnagarvey 6 (Willamson 3, Murray 2, Nelson); Banbridge 4 (Brown 3, Ward) Annadale 0; Cork C of I 2 (Jermyn, Millar) Cookstown 1 (Barbour); Railway Union 0 Monkstown 2 (Smyth, D Carson); Three Rock Rovers 2 (Blakeney, Walker) Glenanne 3 (O'Malley 2, Couse)
Premier League: Bangor 5 (McCombe 2, Cunningham, McKee, McClune) Civil Service 4 ( Barnes 4); Harlequins 5 (McKenna 2, Patterson 2, McGrath) Raphoe 0; Cliftonville 2 Portadown 3 (Titler 2, Davidson); Newry 3 (Russell, England, McKnight) Queen's 2 (Gamble, Getty); North Down 3 South Antrim 2 (Brown 2); Mossley 3 (Robinson 2, Dow) Antrim 1 (McBride)