Holcombe HC emerged as winners of this year’s Nigel Cheevers tournament with convincing victories over Cookstown, Instonians and Glasgow Western.
It transpired that the Saturday 6pm fixture between Cookstown and Holcombe would act as the final of the tournament after Cookstown defeated an inspired Glasgow Western side on Saturday morning.
Following the tournament’s closing dinner Holcombe HC were presented with the trophy and Nick Catlin with Player of the Tournament award by Nigel’s brother, Gary.
Cookstown Hockey Club would wish to thank all teams and officials taking part in this year’s tournament, together with the tournament committee, catering staff and everyone in between.
Cookstown 3-7 Holcombe
Cookstown’s met the star-studded Holcombe HC, a rematch of the 3-3 thriller at last year’s event.
To say it wasn’t part of the script would be an understatement as the Red Socks found themselves 5-0 down at the end of the first quarter, thanks to a number of well executed English plays and penalty corners.
Despite the heavy scoreline the Reds were determined not to fall by the wayside for the remainder of the game and came out in the second quarter with a much higher willingness to match the work rate of the English men.
The game became a much tighter affair with both sides coming close as the Red Army faithful watched on. Unfortunately Holcombe went on to score a sixth through a Middleton tap in as the Reds went into the half-time team talk trailing by 6 goals to nil.
The Red Army wait for a Cookstown goal finally ended during the third, when Raymond Miller was impeded during an attempt at goal and awarded a penalty stroke.
Keith Black stepped up and calmly slotted home past George Pinner to slightly reduce the gap and inspire the rest of the Reds.
The ever active Stuart Smyth was next on the score sheet when he fired home, high into the net from the left side of the ‘D’ to equal another Holcombe goal early in the fourth.
The Reds pressed on and continued to chip away at the Holcombe defence when Raymond Millar got a nick on a Simon Todd long ball to deflect low into the Holcombe goal with the final of the goal of the game.