Cookstown and Annadale face weekend showdown

Cookstown's Andy McWhirter keeps the ball away from Matthew Allister of Annadale
Cookstown's Andy McWhirter keeps the ball away from Matthew Allister of Annadale
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Cookstown will face the second half of their make or break double-header weekend of games against Annadale tomorrow (Saturday) at 2.30pm.

While most eyes will be on the Irish Senior Cup semi-finals, there will be few Irish hockey grounds as tense as that at Lough Moss Leisure Centre which will host the showdown.

The two Ulster rivals are currently locked in a relegation scrap at the wrong end of the table with just seven games left to play.

Cookstown struck first in the head-to-head, winning an edgy affair at Steelweld Park last Saturday thanks to goals from Mark Crooks and Jon Ames. Annadale’s sole response came from Aussie import Robbie McGuire.

The Carryduff men will have to improve upon their indiscipline which saw them down to ten men at key points of the match in Cookstown. There is little doubt that they will be targeting a victory which will take them level on points with the Reds.

For Cookstown - who will, all things being equal, be able to deploy their full squad for almost the first time this season - it will no doubt be about defending well and leaving Lough Moss with anything other than defeat. In so doing they will maintain the gap between the two sides to at least three points.

Both teams have a tough runs in against teams all vying for Champion’s Trophy places including Banbridge, Monkstown and Lisnagarvey.

EY HOCKEY LEAGUE

LISNAGARVEY 12 33

MONKSTOWN 12 24

BANBRIDGE 12 20

THREE ROCK 12 18

GLENANNE 12 16

RAILWAY UNION 12 14

PEMBROKE 12 14

CORK 12 12

COOKSTOWN 11 9

ANNADALE 11 6