Hockey: Understrength Cookstown hammer Instonians at Shawsbridge

Alan Patterson, Instonians and Stuart Smyth, Cookstown
Alan Patterson, Instonians and Stuart Smyth, Cookstown

Instonians 1st XI 0

Cookstown 1st XI 5

Cookstown were limited defensively with Paul Thompson, Ewan Butler, Godfrey Irwin and Dan Crooks all absent through injury and unavailability.

Paul Watt and Timmy Sloan gave the Reds some support upfront, with Watt having been granted bail after his mid-week scythe on Lisnagarvey’s Jason Lynch.

Instonians started the brighter of the two teams, winning a couple of penalty corners to put the away side under some early pressure.

Both of William Robinson’s flicks were sent astray, the first swatted wide by Andrew McWhirter on the post and the second by IH1 in the away goal.

Against the run of play, Cookstown took the lead around the twenty minute mark through Greg Allen, who linked expertly with Stu Smyth in-and-around the home circle to fire past the Inst’ GK.

Allen’s goal would signal a ten-minute-blitz for Town, leading to a convincing 3-0 margin and effectively killing the game off at halftime.

Raymond Miller got the second of the game, camped in his hometown by the flick spot, he slapped home off an Ames assist to the delight of the travelling Red Army.

“The striker gets goals,” coach Stephen Cuddy remarked. “He gets himself in good positions, he makes the goals big and is willing to scrap in there.”

‘Miller-Time’ wasn’t over: Step forward Ryan Millar to notch the goal of the game, stripping the Instonians centre back before unleashing Cookstown’s third– a fierce reverse high into the top left hand corner.

The one-way traffic continued into the second period. To Inst’s credit they pushed forward in hope of a way back into the game but Cookstown simply refused to surrender their goal margin.

Stuart Smyth claimed Cookstown’s fourth and fifth goals of the day; the first seen him skip by two defenders along the by-line, before striking home low in the corner.

The second started on the opposite side, with Greg Allen doing the skipping this time before passing to the open Smyth to play into an empty goal.

Smyth’s second half brace capped off a fine performance for the away side, finally overcoming their win drought versus Instonians.

On Monday evening Cookstown went down 3-1 at home to Banbridge. The Reds’ goal came from Raymond Miller.