HOCKEY: Allen closes on century for COOKSTOWN

Greg Allen dances around the NI Civil Service captain.
Greg Allen dances around the NI Civil Service captain.

Cookstown Hockey Club’s Greg Allen could reach an unbelievable goal scoring milestone this weekend against Instonians.

Allen needs just two goals to notch up his 100th goal for the club and given his current form that is definitely on the cards, as he has already notched up 18 goals this season.

Indeed, Allen could already have reached this milestone, but 14 months ago he sustained a serious facial injury in the Reds clash with Cork Harlequins, which saw ruled him out for a number of months.

But since then he has not looked back; even when he went to Australia on a short term contractwith Perth’s Peel Rebels at the start of the season, he was the league’s top scorer in the heartland of Australian hockey.

Having scored upwards of 300 goals in his Cookstown career, you would have thought that the striker would have numerous interprovincial and underage international plaudits on his CV. But Greg has a solitary appearance for Ulster U21. This seems tough on a striker who has been in the top three goalscorers in the Ulster Premier League for the past three seasons - and that is without the aid of involvement in the set piece short corner which propelled his rivals to the top of the charts.

Last week Cookstown travelled to Civil Service, and secured a 5-1 victory, Allen adding one to his total having scored four on his last visit to Civil Service.

This goal was a wonder to behold and typified all that is good about Allen’s hockey: his intelligent movement in the circle gave him the space while his finish was a beautiful chopped sweep which sailed over the goalkeeper’s head and into the Civil Service goal.

A former Cookstown Hockey Club captain, Greg lifted the Kirk Cup for the club during the 2012-13 season, and continues his advance towards this personal milestone in this weekend’s fixture against Instonians.

But the match is rarely an easy one for Cookstown with Inst having proven something of a bogey team for the Reds.

The Shaw’s Bridge outfit inflicted a devastating defeat on Cookstown in the group stages of the Kirk Cup in September with recent Ireland debutant James Corry on the score board for the Belfast men.

Another slow start like they had on that day could see the Reds leave their Ulster Premier League title hopes hanging by little more than a thread.