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Watt a signing as Garvey go clear at the top

By Graham Hamilton

Lisnagarvey sent out a statement of intent in the EY Irish Hockey League title when they completed the signing of striker Michael Watt - their third Irish international this year.

The former Instonians hit-man has been plying his trade abroad and more recently with Surbiton in the English Premier League but he has returned home and made his debut for the Blues on Saturday as they thrashed Three Rock Rovers 4-0 at Hillsborough to open up a four-point gap at the top.

Coach Errol Lutton had already strengthened his squad over the summer with international duo Paul Gleghorne and Neal Glassey, and the depth was clear as they inflicted the heaviest defeat yet on the Dubliners.

Andy Williamson gave Garvey an early lead and after Andy Forrest added a second, Williamson set up Daniel Buser for the third and then scored the fourth after good work by Timmy Cockram.

And with nearest rivals Monkstown and Banbridge drawing 1-1 in Dublin, it means Garvey will be the Christmas No 1 regardless of the outcome of the last series of games before the festive break.

Bann can't be too unhappy with a share of the spoils at the current all-Ireland champions, but with Monkstown missing several players including Irish international Kyle Good, there was a chance to inflict a second successive home defeat on them.

Fraser Mills got Bann's goal but they squandered five corners.

The big Ulster derby between Annadale and Cookstown was a victim of the weather on a day when most sports were hit hard.

Instonians made it eight straight wins in the Ulster Premier League with a 6-2 success over Civil Service, with William Robinson and Chris Kirk each scoring twice.

EY Irish Hockey League: Lisnagarvey 4 (A Williamson 2, A Forrest, D Buser) Three Rock 0; Monkstown 1 (J Bruton) Banbridge 1 (F Mills); Pembroke 0 Glenanne 1 (G Shaw); Railway Union 1 (M English) Cork C of I 0; Annadale v Cookstown (postponed)

Ulster Premier League: Belfsat Harlequins 2 (J Hutchinson 2) Kilkeel 4 (G Russell 2, D Finlay, M Stevenson); Instonians 6 (W Robinson 2, C Kirk 2, J Dowling, A Patterson) Civil Service 2 (P Gaston, G Saunders); Raphoe 2 (B Wallace, I Lyttle) Portadown 1 (S Kirkland); South Antrim 2 (P Maguire, L Marshall) Mossley 2 (T Moreland, J Cathcart); North Down v Newry (abandoned after floodlight failure)

Senior League: Bangor 3 (R Burgess 2, D Edwards) Campbellians 1 (J Easlie); Cliftonville 8 (Kimm 2, M McParland 2, D Hurley, A Cardy, D Curragh, S Anderson) Ballynahinch 1; Queen's 8 (T Sturgeon 4, J McCaigue 2, G Leckey, P Hawthorne) Portrush 0; Antrim v Armagh (postponed)

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