Hockey: Unexpected reversal for Cookstown II against Instonians

Cookstown High School pupils,  Jack Haycock, Michael Kerr and Joshua McCabe, who have progressed to the last 24 of the Irish U16 boys hockey squad. They now face a number of training sessions in Dublin to prepare them for a series against Scotland and a 6 team European tournament in the Netherlands.
Cookstown High School pupils, Jack Haycock, Michael Kerr and Joshua McCabe, who have progressed to the last 24 of the Irish U16 boys hockey squad. They now face a number of training sessions in Dublin to prepare them for a series against Scotland and a 6 team European tournament in the Netherlands.

Cookstown had an unforeseen reverse at Steelweld Park on a frosty Friday evening where they just couldn’t seem to find a finish in front of goal.

The young Reds side actually played very well going forward with the strikers, led by Paul Watt and Mitch Greer, providing a very willing target for the midfield.

Instonians, however, were quick to take advantage of the opportunities when they arrived, despite the best efforts of Josh Anderson who made a number of quality stops throughout the game.

Instonians took the lead due to a Butler mistake in the midfield which left the Reds defence flat-footed and Anderson with no chance, but the Tyrone youngsters surged back and created three goal-scoring opportunities before the break through Mitch Greer.

Cookstown had all the possession in the second half, and all the territory but were sucker-punched by two well-crafted counter-attack goals which bookended some really good attacking play which the Reds could not, unfortunately, put away.

The Reds finally did find a finish through a fabulous individual effort by Mark Simpson whose tenacity down the byline was rewarded when he flicked the ball high into the net.

This week Cookstown take on Newry II at home on Saturday. Many thanks to Ian Hagan for umpiring this game.

Cookstown II: Josh Anderson, Mark Wilson, Michael Millar, Andrew Ferguson, Ryan Johnston, Gavin Butler, Michael Kerr, Timmy Sloan, Richard Nelson, Callum Anderson, Mark Simpson, Ryan Donaldson, Mitchell Greer, Paul Watt.

Man of the Match: Ryan Donaldson.