Garvey are in the hunt

Neal Glassey, Lisnagarvey and Alex Burns, Cork COI. Mandatory Credit: Rowland White / PressEye
Neal Glassey, Lisnagarvey and Alex Burns, Cork COI. Mandatory Credit: Rowland White / PressEye

A comprehensive 6-1 defeat of Cork Church of Ireland at Comber Road kept Lisnagarvey well in the hunt for the EYHL title.

The visitors without key player John Jermyn were well short of the pace and a stunning five goal first half sealed the points for the home side.

It took Garvey just 9 minutes to score the opening goal; it came from a burst down the right wing which resulted in Matthew Nelson finding space to shoot past Cork keeper Billy Lynch and just seconds later Timmy Cockram saw his reverse shot go over the cross bar as Garvey racked up the pressure on the struggling Cork defence.

Garvey’s dominance led to their first penalty corner in the 11th minute but James Lorimer’s drag flick was well blocked by Lynch before Garvey added their second goal in the 15th minute of a one-sided first quarter.

The move was started by Steven Arbuthnot on the left before Garvey skipper Daniel Buser slotted home the his well- placed cross to extend their lead.

Immediately after the break for the first quarter, Garvey tore the Cork defence to shreds; Andy Williamson made a lot of ground down the right wing and after the ball went loose, Sean Murray latched on to it and smacked a firm shot past the diving Lynch for goal number three.

Cork did show something of a revival during this period and surprised Garvey with a goal from their first penalty corner.

The shot from Stephen Sweetman was half stopped by Garvey keeper James Milliken but the ball still found it’s way into the back of the Garvey net.

The home side responded within seconds when Andy Williamson saw his shot saved by the excellent Lynch but Matthew Nelson was on the spot to slip home the rebound to give Garvey a 4-1 advantage in the 29th minute.

To seal the game, Garvey, totally on top of Cork forced their second set piece in the 34th minute and this time James Lorimer flicked home his good effort inside the left hand post and at the half time interval held a more than healthy 5-1 lead.

The third quarter saw Garvey’s supremacy continue but they could not capitalise, squandering a number of chances.

First Neal Glassey shot high over the bar after a great run through the Cork defence and then Daniel Buser also was way off target after a fine Garvey move involving four players.

Cork, never giving up the cause, forced their second penalty corner in the 42nd minute but after a half save by Milliken, Johnny Bell was on hand to take the ball of the goal-line while a 3rd set piece was easily saved by Milliken in the 44th minute.

The third quarter ended without any addition to the score-line and the last period was dominated by the Cork keeper Billy Lynch who pulled off a series of great saves as Garvey strove for their 6th goal.

His last saving block led to Garvey’s third penalty corner and Timmy Cockram made no mistake with his fast drag flick which was much too good even for Lynch and Garvey should have added further goals in a frantic last five minutes but at the final whistle they were more than content with their 6-1 victory and back on the winning trail after their disappointing result at Three Rock the previous week.

For Garvey, it was good to see the introduction of Scott McCabe in the middle of the pitch and he did himself a lot of good as he combined well with Murray, Glassey and Buser to set up his team for the final four games.

However, there is another four week break due to Irish squad training so Garvey’s next match is on March 25th against Glenanne at Comber Road, yet another crucial encounter and a chance to reverse the 3-1 defeat in Dublin back in November.