Crucial double header for Cookstown

Jack Haycock will be in action against Portadown
Jack Haycock will be in action against Portadown

Cookstown will end their long Christmas hiatus with back-to-back games against Portadown in the Anderson Cup on Saturday and Tuesday.

“It feels like a long time since our last competitive game but we’ve been really been putting the work in at training over the festive break,” said Cookstown captain Greg Allen.

‘“This will be a really tough game, I’ve no doubt.

“We have played Portadown numerous times in friendlies over the years and they have always made it a real battle.

“They work very hard off the ball and make a lot of big hits to try and get it back.

“We’ve been looking at a few things closely over the break, the things we think we do well and those that we think we don’t.

“And that should put us in a good position as the second half of the season progresses.

“Most important for us is to keep the upward progression, to keep limiting the number of mistakes that we make, and to execute our gameplan.

“That starts this weekend against Portadown.”

Elsewhere, Cookstown Ladies have a tough first hit out of 2019 against the Senior Two league leaders Annadale at Strathearn School at 2pm.

Last weekend, Richard McGaw got both Cookstown IV’s goals as they got an excellent draw on the road to Lisnagarvey.

This week they face NI Civil Service III at Steelweld Park at 4pm.

Cookstown III continue to be the big goal-scorers as they disposed of Raphoe II by 8-0.

Jamie Smyton scored a hat trick while Gareth Cuddy made it 17 goals this season with a brace.

Stevie Allen, Graeme Black and Davy Kane scored the other goals. They will be gunning for more goals at home to Instonians III at 1pm this Saturday.

FORTHCOMING FIXTURES

Saturday 12 January 12: Cookstown III v Instonians III (1pm); Annadale Ladies v Cookstown Ladies (2pm); Cookstown Men v Portadown Men (2.30pm); Banbridge III v Cookstown II (2.30pm); Cookstown IV v NICS III (4pm).

Tuesday 15 January: Portadown Men v Cookstown Men (8.15pm).