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Veteran keeper Tormey is aiming to get his hands on a final piece of silverware

By Graham Hamilton

Lisnagarvey head down to Dublin tomorrow in a bid to land the Irish Senior Cup for the first time in 11 years ... and one player in particular is desperate to ensure success.

Goalkeeper John Tormey is Garvey's elder statesman and the first to admit he's already in his early 40s, and so he's keen to add a Senior Cup medal to his collection in case the chance might not come round again.

It's not that Tormey has any notion of hanging up his pads, but as Garvey skipper Jonathan Bell points out, you never know when the opportunity presents itself again.

"When I was in the Garvey team as a teenager, you always presumed there would be more cup finals around the corner, but here I am ten years on before the chance has come round again, " he said. "It shows you simply can't take anything for granted.

"Yes, John is the club's elder statesman and it's a credit to him that he is still playing out of his skin. So it would be not only great for us to land the trophy, but in particular for him, as we don't know how soon another final will come round."

Tormey, indeed, is having another successful season as Garvey's last line of defence and it was he who played a major part in the Blues reaching the decider this season.

You may recall that Garvey were three goals down at home to Three Rock Rovers in the semi-final last month but the oldest member of the squad, and also the youngest, helped complete a massive turnaround as they stormed back to take the game into extra time before finally winning it on penalty strokes.

The youngest player that day was Wallace High schoolboy Matthew Nelson and it was he who slotted home a last-gasp equaliser to send the game into extra time and then strokes.

And it was in the shoot-out that Tormey proved the hero, saving Three Rock's fifth stroke before Sean Murray calmly put away the winner.

Now their focus turns to Monkstown, a team who crushed them 5-2 early in the IHL season before they went down to Dublin more recently to win 1-0 and burst clear at the top of the table.

Certainly a big crowd is expected at the UCD venue, and don't be surprised if Irish coach Craig Fulton is among them ... after all, there are more than a dozen international players between the two teams in action.

Jonathan Bell, Timmy Cockram, Paul Gleghorne, Neal Glassey, James Lorimer and Mikey Watt are all in Garvey's squad wanting to impress Fulton ahead of the Rio Olympics, and on the Monkstown side, Ulsterman Peter Caruth joins Gareth Watkins, Kyle Good, Jonny Bruton, David Fitzgerald, Lee Cole and Stephen Cole in another star-studded line-up of internationals.

"Monkstown are a slick outfit with quality throughout," admits Garvey captain Bell. "It will be tough and at the end of the day it could be decided on which team takes their chances when they come or which makes a mistake."

Belfast Telegraph


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