Cookstown High School had a hockey extravaganza on Tuesday when they played two schools on tour from the England.
The first competion was against Godolphin & Latymer who arrived to play the U13 and U14 teams.
The U13s were exited at the prospect of playing the visiting team and the adapted 7-a-side game saw them relish in their increased touches.
The visiting team showed their knowledge of the formation and they were quick to show their expertise by hammering home two early goals. This was a wake up call for the girls and as half time approached, Rebecca McKeown took on the G&L back line and slipped the ball through the keeper’s legs making it 2-1 at half time.
After a stern team talk the girls clued into the game in hand, Hannah McKnight and Olivia Thompson made some great tackles from the back whilst Ellie Parke and Sarah Hammond worked tirelessly in midfield creating chances for the forwards. Rebecca McKeown made some excellent runs and these were rewarded with another two goals to give her her hat-trick.
The girls fought hard to keep their lead with Erin Anderson fighting hard and winning possession. Megan Ferson in goals was in good form making some excellent saves. However, the Cookstown girls were unable to keep their lead and in the last few minutes they conceded two goals leaving the final score 4-3.
Cookstown High School’s next encounter against Godolphin was for the U14s. The girls started strongly in the first ten minutes and were really unlucky not to score.
Excellent pressure from Corie Harkness and Rebecca Lindsay on the right saw some shots on target and some excellent passes across the face of goal.
In the last few minutes Godolphin came alive and put some pressure on the Cookstown defence but Chelsie Cowden and Chloe Bowden remained solid and the score remained 0all at half time. In the second half the Cookstown girls came out in full force they dominated the game created several chances and won several short corners. Kerri Scott claimed the first two goals whilst Corie Harkness and Hannah Taylor added to the tally to make the final and deserved score 4-0.
After having provided an excellent lunch for the Godolphin team and wishing them a safe journey the next touring squad arrived from Wolverhampton. The 1st XI were focused on playing a possession game and using this match as an opportunity to practice their passing and moving.
In the first half the girls struggled with the physical strength of the opposition and their support from the stands, they found it difficult to focus on the simple passing game.
This left them defending on several occasions, Alex Scott remained a blockade for the Wolverhampton team whilst Cara Sloan worked hard to win back possession. After a regroup @ half time the girls came out in the second half more alert.
They sucked up the physical contest and brought their skills to Wolverhampton. This led to winning several short corners and a few shots on target. Kerri Scott scored the first goal for Cookstown with Rachel Millar and Joanna Scott also adding to the tally. The final score finished 5-0.
The second half proved to the girls that they can create pressure by working together as a team and also the importance of coming up from the very first whistle.
We would like to wish Wolverhampton and Godolphin & Latymer all the best in their hockey season. The girls at Cookstown had a great experience and enjoyed having the opportunity to mix with girls from different areas and backgrounds.
Thanks to all the parents and supporters who helped or supported on the day.