The Irish Senior Cup quarter-finals has a distinctly Leinster-dominated hue as six Dublin sides progressed with wins over Ulster sides on Saturday afternoon.
It came with plenty of goals too, Glenanne, Monkstown, Three Rock Rovers, Pembroke, Fingal and Corinthian all netting five or more in emphatic wins.
Fingal’s was the tightest of the results, pegged back to 2-2 early in the second half of their tie against Ulster Premier basement side NICS. The return of the wily Aidan Sweeney to the first team, though, helped the airport side pull clear as he netted twice while also assisting one for Paddy Gahan.
After Conor Wheeler’s corner rebound and that effort from Gahan had put them 2-0 up, Service bounced back to equalise early in the second half.
But another Wheeler rebound and Sweeney’s pair – one from Luke Hayden’s excellent work, the other a quick trap and flick – helped them run out 5-3 winners. It sets up a quarter-final date on home turf where they will meet Three Rock Rovers who downed Belfast Harlequins 7-0.
Glenanne had a similarly sticky tie against Kilkeel as they were locked at 2-2 at half-time. Gary Shaw’s pair of corners were cancelled out by William Annett’s couple as the Mourne men who showed plenty of verve for the battle.
The Glens, though, fired three in the second period, Shaw completing his hat trick from the penalty spot and Eddie O’Malley grabbing two in a 5-2 success.
They will face Lisnagarvey in the quarter-finals as the Hillsborough club beat UCD, the one Leinster side to fall at this stage of the competition.
Timmy Cockram and Jonny Quigley had them 2-0 up before Jeremy Duncan got one back for the students with seven minutes to go, making for a nervy closing phase but the 23-time winners held on.
Monkstown set up a battle royale with Banbridge in the next round in a repeat of last year’s Irish Hockey League final. The former were ahead inside two minutes against Portadown via Ross Watkins en route to a 6-1 win.
Bann, meanwhile, ran up a 4-1 win over the last remaining Cork side, C of I, in Garryduff.
Corinthian, meanwhile, were comfortable 5-0 winners in north Belfast against Mossley. An own goal had them 1-0 up at half-time as Glenn Holmes’ reverse stick cross took a touch en route to the backboard. They cut loose in the second half Andrew Sutton scored a corner move before Jordan Sutton extended the lead to three with 15 minutes to go.
Jethro Eustice and Matt Fairweather added further corner goals to close out their five-star performance.
Pembroke won 7-3 in Tyrone against Cookstown. Initially, goals from Mark Loughrey, Karl Lynch and Keith Crawford put Pembroke 3-0 up in a blistering start before Cookstown got back in the mix with a goals from Mark Rooney and Greg Allen, making it 3-2 at the break.
But a pair of Maurice Elliott goals, a corner from Conor Harte and another from Tim Hill saw the Dublin 4 side romp to a comfortable result. They will meet Corinthian for a place in the final four at Whitechurch Park.
Men’s Irish Senior Cup, second round: Glenanne 5 (G Shaw 3, E O’Malley 2) Kilkeel 2 (W Annett 2); Portadown 1 (N Gilmore) Monkstown 6 (R Watkins 2, N Dee, J Henry, D Carson, own goal); Belfast Harlequins 0 Three Rock Rovers 7 (J Bruton 2, P Blakeney, M Maguire, S Madeley, L Madeley, A Haughton); Cookstown 3 (M Rooney, G Allen, A Smyth) Pembroke Wanderers 7 (M Elliott 2, M Loughrey, K Crawford, K Lynch, C Harte, T Hill); Fingal 5 (C Wheeler 2, A Sweeney 2, P Gahan) NICS 3; Mossley 0 Corinthian 5 (M Fairweather, J Eustice, J Sutton, A Sutton, own goal) Lisnagarvey 2 (T Cockram, J Quigley) UCD 1 (J Duncan); Cork Church of Ireland 1 (A Gray) Banbridge 4 (C Dowds, S Dowds, J Moffett, B McCandless)
Third round draw (February 1): Corinthian v Pembroke Wanderers;Lisnagarvey v Glenanne; Monkstown v Banbridge; Fingal v Three Rock Rovers