Pembroke and Mossley advanced to an Irish Senior Cup quarter-final date next Saturday with dramatic wins in the two refxied ties to beat the frost in Ulster.
For Pembroke – fourth in the national EY Hockey League – they were given by mid-table Ulster Premier side South Antrim. The last time Souths played in the competition two seasons ago, they were smashed 9-1 by the same Dublin club.
And they looked on course for a similarly heavy defeat when Tim Hill scored for Pembroke inside 75 seconds. Alan Sothern added another from close range soon after and Greg Chambers was also on the mark as they looked set to romp clear when Sothern added a fourth before half-time.
But they took the foot off the throttle completely in the second half, though, with Adam Glass netting a corner before Chris Henry scored moments later to build their confidence further.
Rory Brown reduced the gap further but Pembroke held on for a 4-3 win and a place in the last eight of the competition.
Coming off the pitch gutted we haven’t beaten an established EYHL team is in a strange way a nice feeling. Proud of the performance we put in today. With the team we have I firmly believe @SouthAntrimHC can achieve great things over the next few years #onwardsandupwards #RABA
— Chris Henry (@chrishenry13) January 6, 2018
Mossley will be their hosts for that one next Saturday in the only confirmed quarter-final match-up. The Newtonabbey side beat Belfast Harlequins in a shoot-out with Jordan Robinson scoring the crucial effort in sudden death.
Luke McClelland had Quins one up but a Harry Dow effort with 16 minutes to go ultimately sent the tie to the shoot-out.
Elsewhere, Lisnagarvey’s tie against Railway Union was frustratingly delayed yet again. Originally due to be played in November, it was frozen off once again with the Dubliners counting the petrol costs.
On departure from Sandymount, the pitch was playable but it began to freeze in the lead-up to their 3pm tip-off and so was cancelled in the half hour before game time.
As a knock-on effect, a potential quarter-final with YMCA next weekend will be pushed back. Garvey also have two back matches in the league still to make up due to pre-Christmas weather conditions.
With a large number of internationals in their squad who will likely be called into Craig Fulton’s panel for trips to Spain in January and Malaysia in February, they have a serious fixture headache on their hands.
Next Saturday, two of the remaining second round ties are already scheduled with Queen’s hosting Glenanne and Three Rock Rovers up against Cookstown. Monkstown and Cork C of I are the other clubs waiting to see who they play next.
Men’s Irish Senior Cup, round 2: Mossley 1 (H Dow) Belfast Harlequins 1 (L McClelland), Mossley win shoot-out 5-4; South Antrim 3 (A Glass, C Henry, R Brown) Pembroke Wanderers 4 (A Sothern 2, G Chambers, T Hill)
Postponed due to frost: Lisnagarvey v Railway Union
Quarter-final draw: Mossley v Pembroke; Queen’s/Glenanne v Monkstown; Cork C of I v Three Rock Rovers/Cookstown; Lisnagarvey/Railway Union v YMCA