The Irish Hockey Association is attempting to make hockey more spectator friendly.
With that ethos in mind, they
really need to look at the hockey pitches at Rathgar High School - these are without doubt the most unspectator friendly pitches on this island.
Set amidst dense woodland with no thought put in to where people going to watch the game, an intrepid scouting party of Cookstown supporters had to be despatched ahead of the main party to discover just where the Irish Senior Cup opener was to take place.
Armed with the club machete, the trio fought their way through the dark. dank, dense Templeogue jungle. They tied ropes to eachother so no-one would get lost and left signals for the main party to follow.
Eventually the scouting party emerged behind a 10 foot wire fence just on the half way line. The main party made it later having nearly lost Kenny Rollins who fell into sinking sand only for Frankie the Dog to pull him out.
This was Rathgar Hockey Club’s first ever Irish Senior Cup match and the game began with Cookstown bossing matters and settling to their task quicker than Rathgar.
The home keeper seemed to be in good form as he denied Greg Allen and Jon Ames early on.
Rathgar were happy to sit back and let the Reds have the greater possession and rely on a few big booming aerials to get close to the Cookstown goal. This happened four times during the first half with the Cookstown defenders not dealing well and Ian Hughes coming to Cookstown’s rescue each time.
Paul Thompson then made a good surging run down Cookstown’s right side and his ball into the circle was touched into the goal by the keeper to put the Reds ahead. Cookstown kept up the pressure and Raymond Miller got the vital touch at a penalty corner to double the lead.
Despite their ascendancy, Cookstown failed to convert any more chances up to the half time break.
The second period was all one way traffic as Cookstown completely dominated matters. Their penalty corner count was intodouble figures in the second half alone before Greg Allen netted from a penalty corner.
The Reds kept the tempo up and a good passing move involving Rollins, Black and Todd saw Mark Crooks make headway down the left. He hit the circle and from the bye-line crashed a reverse cross which was deflected into the net by a home defender to make the final score 4-0 to the Reds.
Cookstown are home in the next round to Leinster kingpins Pembroke Wanderers on November 30 and return to Ulster Premier League action with an away trip to Mossley this Friday at 8.15pm.
Most of the supporters have now made it back out of the Templeogue jungle along with a 101 year old Japanese soldier who thought the war was still going on.