EYHL Round 4 – 13th Oct 18
Three Rock Rovers 4 Lisnagarvey 1
Following their outstanding win over Banbridge last Saturday, Garvey’s youthful squad were brought back to earth in Dublin. They lost to EYHL champions Three Rock Rovers by 4 goals to 1 at Grange Road finding themselves second best to a very slick and organised Rovers team which had recently qualified for the last 16 of the European Champions Cup.
The early exchanges produced little as regards goal chances with a Matthew Nelson shot over the cross bar in the 7th minute being the highlight. However, the 16th minute proved to be vital as the home side forced two penalty corners in quick succession. The first brought a good save form James Milliken but the second , taken by Luke Madeley beat him for pace at right hand post and from that point onwards, Three Rock were never under any severe threat.
The first quarter ended with Rovers ahead by the single goal and looking in control of the match with their attacks stemming from wide positions and causing the Garvey defence continual problems.
Harry McMahon shot past the upright when well placed in the 37th minute but Garvey replied with their first set piece just a minute later. With Timmy Cockram off the pitch, Andy Williamson’s drag flick was not strong enough to beat Rovers keeper Jamie Carr and a rare scoring chance was lost.
Rovers returned to the attack and just before the half time interval, delivered a severe blow to Garvey’s chances with a second goal in the 34th minute. It came from their 3rd penalty corner with Conor Empey being the scorer leaving Garvey facing a very difficult task in the final 35 minutes.
Peter McKibbin came to Garvey’s rescue in the 38th minute when he took a Rovers shot off the goal-line while the 40th and 42nd minutes saw the teams swap penalty corner efforts with keepers Milliken and Carr equal to the drag flicks.
Rovers’s third goal and the killer for Garvey came in the 53rd minute and was a simple deflection from a left wing cross into the Garvey circle, ace poacher Mitch Darling getting the touch which gave Milliken no chance of making a save as the third quarter ended with Rovers having a three goal cushion and in full command of the game.
Hard as Garvey tried their basics and loss of possession at crucial times prohibited them from producing the pressure required to score and even their third corner taken by Cockram was ineffective as keeper Carr had no problem in stopping his drag flick effort in the 62nd minute.
Two more saves by the gallant Milliken followed by Garvey’s last penalty corner in the 65th minute which was wasted gave Garvey little confidence but in the 68th minute they did manage a fine break down the right which led to Matthew Nelson scoring at the right hand post to reduce the arrears. However, Rovers took advantage of some slack Garvey defending in the last few seconds to grab a fourth goal through Mark English to leave young Garvey squad adrift by 4 goals to 1 and set to continue their EYHL learning curve.
Garvey’s next and final game before the enforced break for the World Cup preparations will be at Wesley College when they face lowly placed Dublin YMCA at 3pm next Saturday in Dublin.