Craig nets a late winner as Garvey Twos overcome a scare

John Gray netted for Lisnagarvey Seconds on Saturday. Pic: Rowland White / Presseye.
John Gray netted for Lisnagarvey Seconds on Saturday. Pic: Rowland White / Presseye.

Lisnagarvey Seconds survived a few scares in a 4-3 thriller as they edged past Cork CofI to qualify for the semi-final stage of the Irish Junior Cup.

They will now face Monkstown in the semi-final on Saturday 18 April.

Garvey began strongly at Comber Road, giving their opponents little time to settle and within six minutes had grabbed the important early lead.

Having failed to convert two good chances in the opening two minutes, James Dowling made the breakthrough with a well taken strike and it seemed Garvey were on their way to a comfortable victory.

Only three minutes later, they increased their advantage with a goal scored by Adam McCann after Dowling had done the hard work with a good shot saved by the Cork keeper only for McCann to slot home the rebound.

With a two goal lead and dominating play, Garvey could have added to it with two penalty corners in quick succession but both were wasted with weak shots.

A third penalty corner was brilliantly saved by the Cork goalkeeper as Garvey continued to control the game but in the 27th minute, Cork earned a penalty stroke from their first penalty corner and Brownlow scored past Garvey keeper Frazer Carnduff to halve the deficit.

Garvey might well have had a penalty of their own in the 32nd minute but the umpire seemed to be unsighted and play continued until the half-time interval, with the tally still 2-1 to the home side.

Garvey should have been intent on finishing off their stubborn opponents but they gave the ball away after some sloppy defending and Cork surprisingly equalised through Herbert in the 42nd minute, giving Garvey skipper Philip Stirling more than a little to think about.

The two teams swapped penalty corners in the 45th and 47th minutes but soon after the Munster team shocked Garvey with a well taken third goal scored by Deane taking them into an unlikely lead.

The Seconds had to respond and it took them just five minutes before they grabbed the vital equaliser. Following a Stirling chance which was blocked, the same player set up John Gray on the left of the circle and the experienced midfielder slotted the ball past the Cork keeper without hesitation.

With 15 minutes left to play, Garvey turned on the power and with probably the best move of the game, scored the crucial fourth goal. It came after more good work by captain Stirling left Craig Getty to find the net and relieve the Garvey team, who held on to their slender lead until the final whistle.

The Seconds, having taken control of the match with the two early goals, allowed the Cork team to stay in contact and had to bring out their fighting qualities to see themselves through to the semi-final stage.