Ian Hamilton’s hat-trick inspired the Belfast outfit, who have been struggling for form this term, to a 5-4 golden goal victory at Glenanne Park, defying a stunning Glens’ comeback which had seen them bounce back from a 4-1 half-time deficit.
With Glens gone, the mantle of favourites has now passed to Lisnagarvey, for whom Timmy Cockram notched a brace as they did for a fancied YMCA outfit, also away from home, on a 3-2 score-line in a game that saw seven yellow cards issued.
The two Ulster sides will now meet at the Dale’s Lough Moss home in the last eight, where ‘Garvey will be hoping to repeat their 1-0 home victory in league action back in October.
Cork Church of Ireland will be pleased at how the draw has unfolded for them too after they saw off Kilkeel 8-1 on an emotionally-tinged day at Garryduff.
The initial first-round meeting of these sides paled into significance in November when C of I player/coach Andy Chambers tragically collapsed and died on the pitch prior to the game, but the hosts paid tribute in the best possible way after taking advantage of a bizarre serious of circumstances.
The hosts’ netminder Billy Lynch had made at least five saves to keep Kilkeel out, but the game turned when the visitors’ goalkeeper was yellow-carded for a dangerous challenge outside the circle.
With no specialist replacement in situ, John Jermyn took full advantage by notching a drag-flick for an undeserved half-time lead. But the second-half saw C of I turn on the style to run riot, with Jermyn bagging four more, while Nick Burns, Karl Burns and Andrew Daunt grabbed goals from play to shell-shock the visitors.
They now face Cookstown — who they have beaten on the road in Tyrone earlier this term — at home in round two; another home tie against Fingal awaits the winner in the last eight.
The improving airport side recorded an eyebrow-raising 5-2 trouncing of Three Rock Rovers at the ALSAA, with paceman Adrian Sweeney netting four of those.
With Rovers, Glens and Pembroke Wanderers all having bowed out, there will now be a new Irish entrant in the EuroHockey League in the 2011/12 season — the reward for the competition winners.
Elsewhere, Monkstown’s hopes of repeating their 2008 final appearance will have been galvanised by their victory over Mossley on penalty strokes.
New Zealander Andy Ewington’s double kept them in a tie that ended 2-2, with the Dun Laoghaire outfit — who are looking to end a 97-year drought for Irish Senior Cup glory — taking the shootout 4-1.
They are at home again in the quarter-finals to Instonians, who increased the Ulster majority in the last eight by seeing off UCD 5-1, Steven Redpath netting twice.
NICS are the competition’s surprise package, as they saw off Bandon 3-1, a brace from veteran sharpshooter Chris Barnes helping them to outgun the west Cork men, whose goal came from the stick of Aaron Beamish. NICS will now host Banbridge — routine 3-0 winners over Weston.
Elsewhere, the frosty weather claimed the majority of the top-tier league games in Munster, though Cork Harlequins B continued their excellent recent form with a 4-0 rout of Catholic Institute in Rosbrien.
Playing their fifth game in three weeks, Quins’ seconds got the go-ahead through an Eddie Gash corner goal before turning on the afterburners in the second period with strikes from Adam Daunt-Sheehan, Luke Daunt and Rob Morris.