Cookstown 1 Amsterdam 10

COOKSTOWN were put to the sword by their illustrious opponents in Saturday’s Euro Hockey League game in Antwerp.

The Co Tyrone men will never have played a team of the quality of the former European champions - and the gulf in class between theamateur and professional game was there for all to see.

Cookstown to their credit never dropped their heads, scoring one of the best goals of the game and the Ulster side also won three short corners - no mean feat against such quality opponents.

But Amsterdam were simply too strong in all areas of the pitch and really made Cookstown suffer in the final quarter when they scored four times. In a sign of what was ahead for Cookstown, the Dutch side raced into a three goal lead inside the opening 10 minutes with Floris Evers on target twice either side of the first of Mirco Pruyser’s five goals. Evers completed his hat-trick in the second quarter when he sent Ian Hughes the wrong way from the penalty spot after a short corner had struck Godfrey Irwin on the head, signalling the end of the Cookstown captain’s involvement in the contest.

Cookstown enjoyed their best spell of the game early in the second half and were rewarded after 43 minutes when the impressive Timmy Smyth powered the ball into the circle where a diving Gareth Cuddy did brilliantly to direct it first-time into the roof of the net.

However, it didn’t take Amsterdam long to regain control and Pruyser completed his hat-trick to make it 6-1 with a goal from a short corner quickly followed by a super individual strike.

Pruyser added two more in the final quarter with Steven Ebbers and Valentin Verga also on target to bring up the double figures.

Cookstown ran out of steam towards the end, which was perhaps not surprising given the quality of the opposition and it would be no surprise if Amsterdam are in the shake-up when the honours are handed out at the end of the season.