Cookstown Hockey Club enjoys a memorable weekend of celebration

Cookstown Hockey Club is back at the top table of Irish hockey after winning the EYHl division 2 playoffs in Dublin last weekend.

The Reds won their opening game against Clontarf on Saturday and beat Belfast side Instonians in Sunday’s match.

The game against Clontarf started brightly and Greg went close to scoring in the fifth minute.

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The Reds were awarded two short corners in quick succession but the quarter ended scoreless.

Goalkeeper Josh McCabe pictured with his brother Scott after his man of the match performance against Clontarf. Picture: Alan Donnelly.

The second quarter started with Cookstown still pressing and after 12 minutes Jack Haycock put the Reds one up from a well-taken short corner.

Moments later Paul Watt came close to making it two when he just failed to connect with a Mark Crooks’ cross.

At the start of the third quarter, Clontarf were awarded two short corners but failed to convert either of them.

The Dublin side continued to attack but found Cookstown goalkeeper Josh McCabe in fine form.

Jack Haycock puts Cookstown one up against Clontarf. Picture: Alan Donnelly

Cookstown were in control in the fourth quarter and looked like they were coasting to victory but with two minutes left on the clock Clontarf were awarded a short corner which they duly converted. This goal sent the game into penalty shuttles.

The shuttles are always a battle of nerves and Cookstown goalkeeper Josh McCabe earned the Man of the Mach award when he saved three of Clontarf’s efforts.

The Reds replied with goals from Mark Crooks, Greg Allen and Ryan Millar.

There were scenes of jubilation as Josh McCabe was mobbed by his team mates.

Cookstown celebrate their EYHL 2 success after beating Instonians in the final game. Picture: Alan Donnelly

Cookstown faced Instonians in Sunday’s game, the Reds and Inst were both going up to Division 1 but both sides wanted to win the final game.

After nine minutes Greg Allen pounced on a loose ball at the back post and put Cookstown one up, moments later Michael Kerr almost made it two.

The Reds continued to press but the first quarter ended without any more goals being scored.

Cookstown conceded a goal at the start of the second quarter after a mistake in defence.

Cookstown defender Ewan Butler makes a clearance. Picture: Alan Donnelly

However, Inst were never really much of a goal threat and the Reds held the upper hand.

Cookstown put the game beyond the Belfast side in the third quarter when Mark Cuddy latched onto a cross to convert at close range.

​Cookstown collected their medals and savoured a successful weekend for the club.

Paul Watt puts pressure on the Instonian's defender. Picture: Alan Donnelly