Thursday 23 November 2017

Hockey: Red-hot Glenanne wary of Cockram's eye for goal

David Medcalf

Glenanne return from success in Spain to test their mettle against Ulster form side Lisnagarvey on Saturday.

St Mark's in Tallaght is the venue for an eye-catching Irish League tie, a week after the Glens earned a prized spot in Europe's top 16.

But their EuroHockey League stripes will not impress the men from Hillsborough, who are on a rampaging roll of their own.

The side that played with such mercurial inconsistency last season are beginning to put together a steady run of results.

'Garvey come to Dublin as joint leaders of the Ulster League, in which they finished an off-the-pace fifth in 2009/10.

However, while their provincial form was lacklustre, Drew Campbell's outfit reached the final of the IHL last term, defeating Saturday's opponents in a tempestuous semi-final. As they attempt to repeat that outcome, they have what Glenanne lack at the moment -- an abundance of goal scorers.

International Timmy Cockram's strike rate is always impressive, but he has rivals in the hot-shot department as Greg Thompson and Daniel Buser are close to matching him.

In contrast, Glenanne have not found anyone to replicate the prolific returns of Stephen Butler since his departure to Belgium.

Still, Shane O'Donoghue is throwing some impressive shapes these days and Gary Shaw rattled a few cages with his refreshingly direct running in Spain.

Elsewhere in the IHL, YMCA's aspirations to be a top side will be tested to the full by reigning champions Pembroke Wanderers in a mouth-watering collision at Serpentine Avenue.

Cork's big two are on the road north, with C of I facing a long trip to Cookstown, while Harlequins are in Banbridge.

Irish Independent

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