Lisnagarvey lifted the Anderson Cup on Monday night with a 3-1 win over arch rivals Banbridge at Havelock Park to end the local hockey season on a high note.
The game signalled a disappointing end to Bann coach Mark Tumilty’s term in charge after he had already indicated he was stepping down at the end of the season.
But for Garvey the result ended a two-game losing sequence following their defeats in both the Champions Trophy final and the Irish Senior Cup decider.
It’s been a terrific season for the Hillsborough side, who had earlier claimed the regulation EYHL title, earning them a place in Europe next year.
Few people outside of the club would have given Garvey much chance of that achievement, considering they lost a host of top line players going into the campaign.
After easily beating Instonians in Saturday’s semi, the visitors looked the fresher team last night against a Bann side that hadn’t played in several weeks.
However, the two great rivals played out a closely contested first half, Garvey establishing a narrow 2-1 lead before making the game safe with a third goal after the break.
James Lorimer gave the away team an early lead when he fired the ball high into the net from a penalty corner, giving Bann keeper Luke Roleston no chance.
Ben Nelson doubled the Garvey lead shortly afterwards when he won back possession before shooting home to put his team in the driving seat.
But Ireland star Eugene Magee gave the hosts fresh hope when he pulled a goal back before the break, firing high into the net from a trademark drag flick at a set piece.
However, any hopes Bann had of a comeback and forcing a penalty shootout were dispelled 16 minutes from the end when Matthew Nelson finished off a flowing move involving Cole Chambers, Daniel Nelson and Andy Williamson to wrap things up.