IHL Wildcard Playoff: Lisnagarvey 1 (Timmy Cockram) YMCA 0
Timmy Cockram's low, 20th minute drag-flick handed Lisnagarvey the major initiative in the IHL wildcard playoffs as they took the spoils at Serpentine Avenue this evening against YMCA. The Irish international scored with the only goal of a cagey game in which the Dubliners produced plenty of lengthy passing routines but little in terms of penetration.
Indeed, David Williamson was not called on to make a save, Andy Walker's reverse high into the side-netting four minutes from time the only shot YM had in anger. 'Garvey carried the greater goal threat, taking the lead through Cockram before sitting back half-court, even while Geoff Walker served a first half suspension.
In the second period, Greg Thompson thought he had doubled the lead with a touch to Cockram's crash-ball but it was deemed to have taken a defender's stick. With IHL rules - including green cards, quarters and own goals - not in effect, only a long corner resulted.
Simon Mills was the next to take a suspension, seeing yellow for a late tackle on the impressive Johnny Bell before Iain Walker made a superb double save after Mark Raphael's excellent baseline run. The veteran, though, was soon to see yellow, too, to level numbers at ten-a-piece.
The Y were regularly stringing ten and 15 passes together but seemed to lose that composure when they reached the 25, often crashing balls much to the delight of Brian Waring and Johnny Gray for simple clearances.
But with Peter MacDonnell the third 'Garvey man in the sin-bin, in the latter stages, Walker found space on the right of the D and rippled the wrong side of the net, briefly exciting the crowds until realisation kicked in.
The Hillsborough side can now retain their IHL status with a draw tomorrow against Bandon while YM will be anxious viewers ahead of their tie on Sunday as the fixtures move to Grange Road.