Mitch Darling’s return to a Three Rock Rovers’ jersey proved a critical factor as two sharp finishes helped beat reigning champions Glenanne
After Rovers had started the stronger, it was Jonathan Kane who actually had the first clear sight of goal, squirting wide after being found alone on the left side of the circle.
But when Rovers’ key men got going, they were able to produce some top hockey. Mick Maguire’s cheeky overhead found Jody Hosking alone on the right edge of the circle and he slammed across goal for Darling to tip in five minutes before the break.
The Glens responded well in the second half, creating a series of overloads, one of which saw Eddie O’Malley level, punching home after Rowland Rixon-Fuller laid off into his path from the top of the circle. But parity lasted only a few minutes as Brendan Parsons picked a sweet line to goal and Craig Moore arrived on time to ramp past Karl Crosbie.
And the tie was killed off with ten minutes to go when Darling pounced on a loose ball in front of Crosbie and duly flipped the ball up and popped home for 3-1.
Team selection has not been published for this fixture yet.