Pembroke and Mossley scraped through to the quarter-finals of the much delayed Irish Senior Cup, opening the new year's national club action with dramatic wins in the two ties to beat the weather conditions.
For Pembroke – fourth in the national EY Hockey League – they were almost given a huge shock by mid-table Ulster Premier side South Antrim. Indeed, Antrim’s late venture in the competition two seasons ago saw them smashed 9-1 by the same Dublin club.
And they looked on course for a similar drubbing when Tim Hill scored for Pembroke inside 75 seconds. Alan Sothern added two more before half-time with Greg Chambers also on the mark for a 4-0 advantage.
But they took the foot off the throttle completely in the second half with Adam Glass netting a corner before Chris Henry and Rory Brown ensured a nervous finish, reducing the gap to 4-3.
Pembroke held on and will now face Mossley next Saturday in the only confirmed quarter-final match-up. The Newtownabbey 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 second-round tie against Railway Union was frustratingly delayed once again having originally been due to be played in November.
On departure from Sandymount, Lisnagarvey assured Railway the pitch was playable but it began to freeze ahead of their 3pm tip-off, leaving the Dublin club to count the petrol costs.
As a knock-on effect, a potential quarter-final with YMCA next weekend requires a new date. 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.