Lisnagarvey, still smarting from their Irish Cup exit, bounced back to form with a resounding 7-0 win over Kilkeel at Comber Road last Saturday.
Without playing well, Garvey slotted three goals in a stuttering first half but in the second, they impressed with a very slick and fast moving performance which must have raised their spirits.
In the absence of skipper Jonny Bell and fellow defender James Lorimer away with Ireland, Garvey began with Adam McCann, Mark McNellis and Steven Arbuthnot in charge of the defence and they must be praised as they kept a clean sheet for the first time for many weeks.
Timmy Cockram set up Sean Murray in the 2nd minute but the mid fielder’s snap shot hit the post with keeper Morris beaten. Kilkeel did earn themselves two penalty corners in quick succession in the 5th and 6th minutes but both failed to produce any reward and they paid for their mistake as Garvey scored with their first set piece in the 15th minute.
Timmy Cockram beat Morris with a fast flick to give his side a lead without being able to dominate the hard working visitors.
Garvey extended their lead with a well worked second goal in the 18th minute; Steven Arbuthnot linked up with Cockam on then left wing and the resulting cross was controlled on the reverse side by Andy Forrest and slotted past Morris.
Kilkeel were dangerous on the break and forced a penalty corner in the 19th minute but the shot was very well blocked by the Garvey defender and a minute later Garvey had scored their third goal.
Daniel Nelson did some good work on the right flank before Andy Forrest grabbed his second with a snap finish.
Forrest almost had a hat trick in the 32nd minute but his short was brilliantly blocked by Morris.
Garvey seemed to raise the game by a number of notches as the second half commenced adding their fourth goal seconds after the restart.
Sean Murray did the work but Andy Williamson completed the job with a neat finish.
Kilkeel were beginning to weaken as Garvey’s continuous pressure began to tell.
Following a slick three man move in the 48th minute involved Peter MacDonnell who had his half shot saved only for Jason Lynch to finish the move with a clinical shot past the helpless Morris to give Garvey a 5-0 lead.
Andy Williamson completed Garvey’s 8th penalty corner with a deft touch from Cockram’s flick.
The home side were now in total control of the game and it was no surprise when Andy Williamson completed his hat trick with Garvey’s seventh and last goal of the afternoon; it came after another fine right wing cross by the influential Timmy Cockram.
The final minute of the game saw Johnny Quigley just fail to add an eighth goal as his shot went narrowly wide.
Garvey’s next match is in some doubt; the fixture is against Annadale at Lough Moss next Saturday but with Jonny Bell and James Lorimer away, the game might be postponed. A decision is awaited from the Ulster Branch; if the game goes ahead it is timed for 4pm at Carryduff.
Garvey also have a mid-week game for next Wednesday, February 4. The opposition is Instonians, at Comber Road starting at 7.45pm.