As Lisnagarvey prepare for back to back encounters with Three Rock Rovers, first in the Irish Hockey League and then in the Irish Senior Cup, Head Coach Errol Lutton says he envisages ‘two good games’.
Garvey currently lie seven points clear at the top of the IHL, having taken a 4-0 victory last time out over rivals Banbridge.
They will hope to continue their winning run when they travel to Dublin tomorrow (Saturday) for a league match, before they return to Comber Road the following week in the cup against the same side.
Speaking about last Saturday’s win over Banbridge, Garvey coach, Errol Lutton said: “It was another tight game, the scoreline didn’t reflect the entire game.
“We deserved to win, Banbridge had periods of pressure, but we dealt with it well and deserved what we got from the match.
“Against Monkstown we didn’t play our best hockey, obviously they are a top side with plenty of internationals and top players, but we managed to get the win.
“You have to play at your very best to get anything out of these games and you have to take your chances when they come to you.”
Lutton says his side have found it crucial to take their chances since joining the Irish Hockey League.
“Speaking to other coaches they say the same thing,” Lutton commented. “The teams have better defenders, better keepers, you are going to have less short corners and less chances than previously.
“That’s something we work on in training, how to attack the circle. It’s not easy, it’s taken a lot of hard work.”
Looking ahead to the first of their back to back encounters with Three Rock Rovers, Lutton said: “We meet them first in the league down there.
“We beat them 4-0 back in December, but we had to work very hard to get that scoreline.
“They are a good team and have had some good results this season. They have two or three internationals in their line-up.
“It will be difficult against them on their own pitch, and then we will replicate that game the following week in the Irish Senior Cup at our place.
“It is rare to see a game fall in the league and then again in the cup,” Lutton added. “We will be looking for bits and pieces from the first game we can pick up for the cup match.
“I envisage two good games, with few chances.”
The Garvey coach was also keen to praise his squad for what he called an ‘all round good performance’ last time out.
Whilst Banbridge had periods of pressure, Lutton said that his side’s backs weren’t ‘to the wall’.
“Our defence played well,” Lutton said, “but so did our attack. Banbridge had some periods of pressure, but a lot of that came about because we were down to nine or ten men.
“It wasn’t a case of backs to the wall, we were well organised and stayed strong, as we practised in training.
“We certainly weren’t under the cosh, we faced most of the pressure when we were down in numbers. Our defence are there to not concede and that’s what they did.
“It was an all round good performance,” he stated.
Garvey hope to welcome back Peter MacDonnell, who has been missing due to his studies recently.
Lutton said that addition of MacDonnell to the squad once again would ‘add quality over the next period’.
The Garvey coach hopes to have his full squad back soon, with Matthew Nelson having been missing due to half term.