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Instonians through to last four as holders exit

Instoniants will take on Lisnagarvey in the Kirk Cup semi-finals after they clinched the remaining last-four berth following a play-off against holders Cookstown at Banbridge's Havelock Park last night.

The duo had finished level on points in Pool A and were also on the same goal difference and same goals for, and so a play-off had to be arranged to decide who would go through, with Mark Irwin's team winning 2-1.

Irwin demanded a good response following last Saturday's disappointing 3-2 league defeat at Kilkeel, and he wasn't disappointed as Stuart McNeice shot his team ahead in the 24th minute with a great individual effort.

Gradually the Tyrone side got into the game but found Inst keeper Richard Johnston in fine form, while Stuart Smyth lobbed a good chance over the crossbar.

It was Greg Allen who finally levelled for Cookstown in the 51st minute but any hopes of the holders keeping their hands on the trophy were ended eight minutes from the end when Steven Redpath pounced on a rebound from Paul Gleghorne's penalty corner and slotted home from an acute angle.

The two teams meet again on Saturday, this time with three vital league points at stake, and neither can afford to lose if they want to keep in touch with unbeaten leaders Banbridge at the top.

The semi-finals are scheduled for Sunday, October 20 at Inst's Shaw's Bridge ground, with the other semi featuring Pool A winners Banbridge and Pool B runners-up Annadale.

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Meanwhile it has been confirmed that the Mossley and Lisnagarvey league game this weekend will now be staged tomorrow evening at The Glade (8.00pm).


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