Competitive hockey made its long awaited return yesterday as Lisnagarvey swept into the Irish Senior Cup final with an emphatic 4-0 win over Glenanne at sun-drenched Comber Road.
The game was watched by a reduced capacity crowd of 120, including 30 who had made the trip from Dublin.
A new normal it might have been with Covid-19 restrictions in abundance as far as spectators were concerned but, on the field, it was the same old story for the host team. Garvey had gone through the abbreviated Irish Hockey League season without defeat, following 13 matches.
And from the moment Ben Nelson put them ahead after 10 minutes, there was little chance of that impressive record being put under threat in the knock-out semis, held over from last season.
The Hillsborough outfit will meet first time finalists UCD in the decider on Saturday-week after the Dublin students dismissed Ulster Premier League side Cookstown 3-2 in yesterday's other tie.
To add to Garvey's delight, the showpiece will be staged at Comber Road alongside the women's final between Pegasus and UCD, who are on course for an unprecedented double.
"Glenanne caused us a few problems but I thought we defended really well when they put us under pressure and now we can't wait for the final on our own pitch," said Garvey captain James Corry.
Nelson cracked in the opener after latching on to a great through ball from Jonny Bell and Cole Chambers doubled the lead on 33 minutes following another incisive move.
Not to be outdone by his brother, Daniel Nelson added two well taken goals in the last 12 minutes.
Goals from Michael Kerr and Mark Crooks saw Cookstown come from behind lead UCD 2-1 with a quarter of an hour left.
But the Leinster side fought back to snatch the win with late strikes from Stephen Byrne and Guy Sarratt.
In the second-tier Irish Hockey Trophy semi-finals, Belfast Harlequins beat Waterford 3-2 to book a date with Portrane, who defeated South Antrim 3-0.
Other results: Irish Hockey Trophy semis: Men: South Antrim 0 Portrane 3; Waterford 2 B'fast H'quins 3 (M Patterson, S McGrath, R Quigley); Women: Armagh 0 Lisnagarvey 5 (A Christie 2, E Brown, K Morris, L Hughes).