REDS coaches Michael Haycock and Stephen Cuddy look back on a brilliant weekend of hockey as they marched into the Kirk Cup final and set about their defence of the Ulster Premier League in defiant fashion.
“We were very proud as a club to host the super sunday semi final and can I thank all those who worked behind the scenes and the town supporters who came out in force to cheer the team on,” said Cuddy.
“We continued our good start to the season and completed our 5th and 6th win of the season. Saturday (against Antrim) we were a little shakey and the score was 1-1 after 20 minutes, but we scored a couple quick goals before the break to give us a little breathing space at half time.
“The second half we played a lot of good stuff and finally some of our last third play, which we worked on greatly, started to click. I was delighted with how Jon Ames played he seemed to be at the heart of every attack and he has illustrated this season that he can be a very big player for us this year.
“To score eight goals in the second half was very pleasing and you could see the guys left Antrim Forum with a lot of confidence.
“We recovered well for the Semi Final on Sunday and started brightly against a good Banbridge side, but after about ten minutes we seemed to be really up against it and we fortunate to get to half time on level terms.
“We made one change at half time that allowed us to play a little further up the pitch and get more pressure on their back four. This relieved a lot of the pressure we sustained in the first half.
“I am pleased for Simon Todd who joined us to play in the big games and try and win cups with us. It is also very pleasing that Andrew Barbour who was the Man of the Match on Sunday will get an opportunity to play in his 8th Kirk Cup Final!
Michael Haycock said that he was looking forward to the clash against Lisnagarvey in their second game of the league campaign.
“The games against Lisnagarvey and Banbridge are crucial if we are to challenge to win our fifth title in six years. We have lost quality from the squad but the guys who have returned to us are all doing really well in training and on match days.
“We have had a reasonably good start to the season with six wins our of six but we must demand more of ourselves to get better. On Sunday we were by far the second best team in the first half and we know this Saturday will be another battle against the number one ranked side in the country.
“This will be the last match Lisnagarvey will play before they journey off to the Euro Hockey League so we know that they will be aiming to peak at this time. We will need to be very much at our best to get something from the game.
“We have some injury worries that we will assess this week but hopefully we will be at full strength come Saturday.
“Lisnagarvey have some injury worries of their own with Timmy Cockram and Mark Raphael both unavailable last weekend in their wins against Service and Annadale.
“Thanks for everyones support last Sunday at Coolnafranky it is great to look across and see loads of our friends and family supporting us on we would encourage more of the same this Saturday at 2:30pm.”
Saturday October 13
Cookstown v Lisnagarvey (UPL 2.30pm)
Mossley III v Cookstown II (JL1 2.30pm)
Antrim II v Cookstown III (JL2 8pm Friday)
Lisnagarvey V v Cookstown IV (JL3 4pm)
Cookstown V v Armagh II (JL4 1pm)
Cookstown Ladies v Greenisland (USL 4pm)
North Down II v Cookstown Ladies II (UJL)