There was a triumphant start to the season for Lisnagarvey Hockey Club as they were crowned McCausland, Light and Rankin super-nines champions.
Garvey produced a strong performance throughout the competition at Stormont last weekend to pick up their first trophy of the season.
With the Comber Road side preparing for life in the new national Irish Hockey League, winning the competition against the likes of Banbridge; Instonians and Mossley will certainly stand them in good stead.
“Winning is a good habit to be in,” Garvey Coach Errol Lutton said.
“We played three good teams all at different stages of preparation, Mossley obviously will start their season earlier as they aren’t in the IHL.
“It was good to get pitch time for some of our younger guys.”
New signing Neal Glassey marked his tournament debut as a Lisnagarvey player with a goal.
The Irish international, who joined the club from Mossley, was on the mark against his former team mates as Garvey finished the tournament in style with a 3-0 win against the Newtownabbey outfit.
“Neal is a good player,” Lutton stated. “He’s played for Ireland at Under 21 and Senior level. I’m delighted to have him here, he’s a superb addition to the club.”
With players having been on holiday throughout the summer, Garvey will begin their pre-season preparations this weekend, as they look ahead to the IHL season opener on September 26, away to Pembroke Wanderers.
“Our preparations fully begin from this Saturday with pre-season games every week. Once everyone is back to work it will all start coming together.
“All support is welcome down at the club for our match against Railway Union tomorrow (Saturday) at 2.30pm.”
Elsewhere, new signing Paul Gleghorne helped Ireland to a EuroHockey bronze medal last weekend.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” Coach Lutton said.
“Jonathan Bell played in the World League in Belgium for Olympic qualification. They have worked hard from San Diego, to Belgium and London. They have to carry that momentum through now.
“They’ve worked hard in the gym, as well as training twice a week.
“I’m delighted Paul was able to win a medal and I’m delighted for the rest of the Ireland players and coaches, I know a lot of them well.
“There is no better time for Irish hockey,” he added. “Hopefully the IHL can showcase the best of Irish hockey.”
With Jonathan Bell having missed the recent EuroHockey competition through injury, can Garvey expect him back ahead of the new season?
“He’s intending to be back for the IHL,” Lutton said. “He needed to rest and recover at some point and this was the best time, to give him the best chance to play for Garvey and Ireland. Hopefully he will be back stronger.”
Lutton added: “The guys are looking forward to the new season. This league will be new for everybody, it’s an exciting time to be playing hockey; for club and country hopefully it will be a good year for all.”