Euro Hockey League KO16
Lisnagarvey 2 (Mark Raphael 2) Dragons 7 (Loick Luypaert 4, Matthew Cobbaert, Florent van Aubel, Jeffrey Thys)
The KO8 remains out of reach once more for Irish clubs as Lisnagarvey’s brave first half effort was undone by a classy Dragons who were too slick for last season’s Irish Hockey League champions.
Loick Luypaert played party pooper with two strokes and two corner goals for the Belgian side, who featured Stephen Butler in midfield, for whom Florent van Aubel and Felix Denayer were constant tormentors.
Luypaert put away a 14th minute stroke after a miscued pull back was first timed onto Mark Raphael’s foot in front of goal. Soon after, he nailed a low drag-flick past the over-employed John Tormey.
But Garvey rallied brilliantly in the group phase against Lille and they got back involved in the game in the 20th minute when Johnny Quigley snaffled a loose overhead in the left corner. He picked out Raphael who arrowed across from the edge of the circle with an exquisite hit.
Denayer laid up Matthew Cobbaert’s pushed finish for 3-1 but Garvey had hope of a comeback in mind when Johnny Bell’s backhand pass from the centre of the park was touched up and over Manu Leroy’s head into the roof of the net.
It left the Hillsborough side hopeful but Dragons blew Garvey away in the second period. The first was a splendid finish from Jeffrey Thys on his reverse from an acute angle, whilst the second was a penalty corner which van Aubel touched home from Luypaert’s flick to give Tormey no chance.
Luypaert went route one from the next penalty corner and ripped a fierce flick into the top corner for his hat-trick. He completed his and the Dragons’ tally from the penalty spot.
Dragons advance to the next round where they will once again face Reading after the English side dumped Rotterdam out on penalties. Chris Cargo played a big part, scoring a sublime penalty in the shoot-out, coolness personified when slipping home past Pirmin Blaak.
Tim Lewis will join him there as he and David Ames helped Beeston come from behind to beat East Grinstead 3-2 in silver goal extra-time.