Garvey begin hectic programme as race begins to finish league fixtures

Jonny Bell, Lisnagarvey and Stephen Sweetnam, Cork C of I. Pic by Rowland White / PressEye
Jonny Bell, Lisnagarvey and Stephen Sweetnam, Cork C of I. Pic by Rowland White / PressEye

Lisnagarvey were extremely disappointed last Saturday when the vital Premier League match against leaders Banbridge was postponed due to snow on the pitch at Havelock Park.

The whole league programme suffered from the weather and now all league teams enter into a frenzied period of matches involving some mid-week fixtures.

The reason for the race to finish the Premier League revolves around the availability of players involved in the Irish team’s build up to their vital Olympic qualifying attempt and the need to secure the last place ‘wild card’ for next seasons Irish Hockey League.

Garvey begin their hectic programme with a home game against Kilkeel this Saturday at 2.45 p.m. and follow that up with Annadale, also away on January 31.

February 7 brings the crucial Irish Hockey League match against Three Rock Rovers at Comber Road.

Three Rock are at the moment, top of Group B with both Lisnagarvey and Banbridge having to make up ground after their 4-4 draw back in November.

The return to the league sees Garvey play Instonians on Tuesday February 10 at home and the vital match against Banbridge being billed for Saturday February 14 at Havelock Park. However, the involvement in the Ireland ‘set up’ could well lead to yet another postponement.

The intensity of fixtures at the end of the season asks a lot from all the teams involved and keeping a fit squad is absolutely vital if a top four place is to be secured.

First up is the game against Kilkeel on Saturday and although the visitors will give everything they have, Garvey should too strong on their own pitch and come away with three more league points which should keep them just in touch with leaders Banbridge.

Team: Ists v Kilkeel, Premier League, Comber Road, 2.45pm - J.Tormey, A.McCann, J.Quigley, P.MacDonnell, S.Murray, A.Williamson, J.Lynch, A.Forrest, D.Buser, S.Arbuthnot, P.Ritchie, D.Nelson, M.Nelson, T.McRoberts, M.McNellis,T.Cockram.