HISTORY AS KIRK CUP SEMI CLASHES HIT COOKSTOWN

Stephen Sloan will be hoping to help his team into the Kirk Cup final after losing last year's decider to Lisnagarvey by 2-0.
Stephen Sloan will be hoping to help his team into the Kirk Cup final after losing last year's decider to Lisnagarvey by 2-0.

For the first time in their history Cookstown Hockey Club will host the Kirk Cup semi-finals.

Known as Super Sunday, the top four teams in Ulster hockey will be at Coolnafranky this coming Sunday to battle it out to see who will play in the traditional Boxing Day Kirk Cup final.

The first semi-final starts at 1.30pm and will feature the holders Lisnagarvey who take on Annadale.

Cookstown take to the field at 3.30pm and will play Banbridge, who beat Ulster kingpins Lisnagarvey to qualify for the semis.

A club spokesman said, “This will be a momentus day in the club’s history. We are indebted to the Ulster Branch for awarding Cookstown with the honour of hosting the Kirk Cup semi finals.

“We have superb facilities here at Cookstown and have already hosted the U21 Celtic Cup tournament as well as senior international games between Ireland and France.

“Our supporters have always had to travel to watch the Reds in the semi finals and now at last they will have the opportunity to watch the lads in our own back yard.

“I would encourage as many supporters as possible to come and support the team. Even if you don’t play hockey, why not come and watch the four teams who will undoubtedly be amongst the silverware at the end of the season.

“Tea, coffee and food plus music between game intervals will all be a feature of the afternoon. The unique clubhouse at the bottom of the school avenue will also be open.”

Five-time Kirk Cup champions Cookstown have made five of the last six finals but have come away on the wrong side of the result in the last two deciders.

They will be hoping for revenge over a Banbridge side which defeated them in the 2011 final by 4-2.