Cookstown High School triumphs in fiercely contested Richardson Cup final

Cookstown High School recently faced off against RBAI in the Richardson Cup Final, the culmination of under 15s Ulster school hockey. This highly anticipated rematch of the Ferris Cup Final promised an intense battle, and it certainly lived up to expectations.
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In a fiercely contested match, Cookstown emerged victorious with a hard-fought 2-1 win, marking their 13th Richardson Cup victory. The game ignited early as RBA’s Frank Hollway swiftly converted a penalty corner in the 6th minute, catching Cookstown off guard with an early lead. Despite this setback, Cookstown’s spirits remained high.

In the 10th minute, Cookstown came close to equalising, but a deflection over the bar denied them a goal. However, their resilience paid off in the 14th minute when Callum Hewitt showcased exceptional skill, equalising for Cookstown with a sublime swivel and flick. Momentum shifted in Cookstown’s favour, and although RBAI narrowly missed a penalty corner opportunity in the 20th minute, Cookstown’s defence held firm.

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The defining moment arrived in the 29th minute when Cookstown’s captain, Ed Irwin, demonstrated his leadership by flicking home another penalty corner, securing the lead once again. Captain Irwin’s standout performance throughout the match was instrumental in Cookstown’s victory.

Captain Edward Irwin and the Ulster Hockey President. Credit: The Front Row UnionCaptain Edward Irwin and the Ulster Hockey President. Credit: The Front Row Union
Captain Edward Irwin and the Ulster Hockey President. Credit: The Front Row Union
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Despite dominating possession, Cookstown couldn’t extend their advantage further, but their resolute defence ensured they held on for the win. Notable performances came from Lee Brisbane, Charlie Costelloe, and David Cuddy, whose contributions were crucial in maintaining Cookstown’s solid defensive line. Additionally, Isaac Kelso and Ethan Redford showcased their prowess in counter-attacking, creating numerous chances and winning penalty corners for their team.

This victory was not only a triumph in itself but also secured the Junior Cup Schools treble for Cookstown, following victories in the Bannister Bowl (u13) and Ferris Cup (u14) earlier in the week. Such an achievement, previously accomplished only by Banbridge Academy, highlights Cookstown’s rich heritage in schoolboy hockey and reflects the excellent coaching within the school.

Cookstown Squad Aaron Abernethy, Ben Barbour, Joshua Bell, Lee Brisbane, Caleb Caskey, Charlie Costelloe, David Cuddy, Caleb Crooks, Edward Irwin (captain), Isaac Kelso, Sam Hamill, Jack Patterson, Benji Patterson, Bobbi Robinson, Ethan Redford. Coaches: Godfrey Irwin, Julian Costelloe, Michael Haycock and Stephen Cuddy.

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