Cookstown hockey stars show their class at Masters tournament

Masters hockey

Masters hockey

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The annual Home Nations Masters Hockey tournament was hotly contested at Lisnagarvey Hockey Club. Cookstown had a record number of five players representing Ireland in various age groups.

The highly competitive over 40’s had a magnificent tournament beating Wales 7-2, Scotland 4-1 and England 4-2 to take the crown. The English game was a real thriller with England 2 nil up at half time. Ireland never gave up and through a great team effort including Cookstown’s Philip Barbour they came back to beat their oldest of rivals.

This was Barbour’s first year playing Masters hockey and what a first year he has had, representing Ulster at the Interpros in Cork, Ireland at the World Cup in Holland and again in the home nations. It was ten years since Ireland won this title, Cookstown players in that side were Kenny Crooks, Martin Sloan and Michael Millar.

Debutante Ian Hagan donned the green shirt for the first time playing for the over 45’s. Hagan played a vital pivotal role in Irelands defence which only conceded only two goals through the whole tournament. England won this age group.

Kenny Crooks, Malcolm McWhirter and Michael Millar all played for the over 50’s. Crooks was in his usual majestic form and played exceptionally well in midfield. McWhirter unfortunately had to retire early in the first game due to a broken rib which left a difficult gap to fill in midfield. Millar, who played for the Irish 45’s in the world cup was hoping for a more leisurely pace in the 50’s but found this group just as, if not more competitive. After beating Wales 3-1, Scotland 4-1 they lost the final game to England 3-1 after leading for much of the game. Again England won this group.

Cookstown Hockey Club have a veterans team and anyone of that ilk who would like to wield the mulberry again please contact Michael Millar atmichaelcmillar@hotmail.co.uk