Garvey and Three Rock set up pair of national final showdowns

Lisnagarvey will meet Three Rock Rovers in both of the national finals after the two clubs advanced to the EY Champions Trophy final with semi-final wins at Havelock Park.

Matthew Nelson celebrates the opening goal. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Garvey eliminated Glenanne while Rovers saw off hosts Banbridge, meaning they will meet in Sunday’s decider in this competition before meeting once again next week in the Irish Senior Cup final. The results also mean both sides will represent Ireland in Europe next season.

Lisnagarvey were the first side to make it through to the final as they ran out 6-0 winners over Glenanne in a slightly deceptive final scoreline.

Indeed, if the Glens made more use of their nine penalty corners, it would surely have been a very different encounter. The Dubliners started with four set pieces in a dominant opening spell but James Milliken had a fine game between the posts to repel efforts from Cedric Jakobi, Jerome Saeys and Shannon Boucher.

Garvey were sitting deep and looking to counter and while they had far fewer chances, theirs were of a much higher quality when they entered the circle.

Oliver Kidd was a star turn with some gorgeous 3D skills and they went 1-0 up when Matthew Nelson reacted brilliantly to a high rebound, slapping in from a ball going over his head.

It was 2-0 in the 31st minute when Johnny Lynch’s powerful left to right pass creating a massive overload. Harry Morris slipped when receiving the ball and the Glens argued it brushed his body in the process but he recovered to sweep to Andy Williamson at the back post for an open goal finish.

That remained the margin for the third quarter as Glenanne spurned two more corners while Kidd also spent a spell in the sin-bin. They were still in the mix at that stage but two goals early in the final quarter quickly killed off those hopes.

Matthew Nelson scored another rebound from Garvey’s second corner and Troy Chambers fired a rising shot by Karl Crosbie – stepping in for the unavailable Iain Walker.

Daniel Nelson added another couple in the last eight minutes for a comprehensive success.

Three Rock Rovers kept up their chances of a third successive EY Champions Trophy success as they beat hosts Banbridge 4-2 in the second semi-final.

Luke Madeley inspired the victory with a powerful performance from the base of defence, adding a goal from their fourth penalty corner in the 28th minute.

Bann had enjoyed much of the possession but struggled to get much real penetration from their attacks as the Rovers defence swallowed up the ball once it entered their 23.

The second half saw Bann step up and forge more openings with Jonny McKee going close and they got level when Eugene Magee scored a low penalty corner for 1-1 in the 48th minute.

TRR’s Jack McAllister and Bann’s Fraser Mills. Pic: Adrian Boehm

Rovers were down to 10 at that stage but as soon as they were restored to the full complement, they scored a cracking second goal. It was a full team move, working the ball around the back and then on to Ben Walker on the baseline and his cross was turned in by Mitch Darling.

A major turning point came when Jamie Carr kept out Zach McClelland’s reverse and, within moments, Three Rock had a key third goal. Again, Madeley was to the fore, barging into the circle and while he looked to be fouled, he got up and crossed for Mark English to tip in through his legs.

Ross Canning added a fourth with five minutes to go before Jamie Wright pulled one back within 20 seconds but it was too late to salvage a result for the Co Down side.

Men’s EY Hockey League semi-finals: Lisnagarvey 6 (M Nelson 2, D Nelson 2, T Chambers, A Williamson) Glenanne 0; Three Rock Rovers 4 (L Madeley, M Darling, M English, R Canning) Banbridge 2 (E Magee, J Wright)

Final (Sunday): Lisnagarvey v Three Rock Rovers, Havelock Park, 4.45pm

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