Hockey: Lisnagarvey coach Erroll Lutton inspired by EY League challenge

Lisnagarvey Coach, Errol Lutton with Timmy Cockram.
Lisnagarvey Coach, Errol Lutton with Timmy Cockram.
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Erroll Lutton wishes he could turn his playing career back in time.

The Garvey coach, a former Irish international, would love to be playing in the new EY Hockey League instead of coaching from the line.

He said: “The big games just keep coming, it’s brilliant for the players - I just wish I was still playing and I would say several coaches feel the same way.

“Having these big games every week is just marvellous for the players, as they can test their skills against top opposition.”

But games between Garvey and Banbridge have always been one of the biggest fixtures on the hockey calendar.

“Last year we beat them 4-3 at our place and drew 4-4 and 3-3 so there are plenty of goals and I don’t see it being any different this week,” he added.

“There will be lots of internationals and some very good young talent on show, so I would expect a fairly large crowd, especially with the 5.00pm hit-off.”

Garvey could be boosted with the possible return of Johnny Bell who has been side lined after picking up an injury over the summer with Ireland.

But he will not be rushed back especially as Ireland will be playing Argentina in Dublin later this month and he will want to be fit for that.

Johnny Quigley is also recovering from an injury but he is not expected to make it for this game.

Bann on the other hand, with two wins on the trot, have no injury worries and will be at full strength for the game.

Cookstown must win this week against visitors Glenanne or they will find themselves firmly at the foot of the table. They will be without Stuart Smyth after he got his marching orders last week against Pembroke Wanderers.

Annadale make the long trip to Cork Church of Ireland for a Sunday game and they will have to bring their best game against a Cork team who have two wins under their belt.

The Ulster premiership got underway this week and Portadown sit proudly at the top, with a surprise 4-2 win against North Down at Comber, thanks to two goals each from Zach McClelland and Adam Stevenson.

Civil Service and Newry shared the points in a 1-1 draw at Stormont, with Conor Gilmer scoring for Service and Jeremy Greer levelling it for Newry.

Instonians welcome Mossley for the game of the day in the Premiership, with Raphoe the visitors at Harlequins and South Antrim hosting Kilkeel.

There’s a full Senior One programme with the top game between two possible title contenders, Campbellians and Cliftonville.

What were the odds that the EY Hockey League teams would not be drawn against each other when the Irish Senior Cup draw for the first round was announced?

Eight of the ten teams playing in the Irish Hockey League were remarkably kept apart with two receiving byes.

And in a statement from the IHA, they said: “The EY Hockey League teams were not purposely kept apart. The draw was completed under our standard protocols whereby all teams were drawn at random and three scrutineers recorded the teams as they were drawn.”

Full 1st round draw: Instonians v Avoca; Belfast Harlequins v Annadale; UCD v Banbridge; Newry v Glenanne; Rathgar v Mossley; Weston v Monkstown; Lisnagarvey v NICS; Railway Union v Raphoe; Kilkeel v Cork Harlequins; Corinthian v Cork CofI; North Down v YMCA; Clontarf v Pembroke Wanderers; UCC v Dublin Byes: South Antrim; Cookstown and Railway Union Games to be played on 31 October.