Cardiff clinched the Nigel Cheevers Memorial Trophy for the first time in a superb weekend of hockey at Cookstown’s Steelweld Park.
They were the first Welsh side to play in the tournament, which is in its 19th year and finished with a 100% record. Cardiff played some classy hockey and their speedy counter-attacks helped pave the way for their victories over the other sides.
Cookstown opened the tournament with a convincing 5-1 win over Scottish side Inverleith, who were making their third consecutive appearance at Steelweld Park.
In a thrilling game, Cardiff then beat English National League side Holcombe 3-2. Holcombe had GB captain Barry Middleton and GB star Dan Fox, as well as Brazilian International Stephane Vehrle-Smith in their team.
Next up for Cardiff were Inverleith who they edged out 5-4 before the Reds took on Holcombe. The English side started well and by half time had raced into a 2-0 lead.
Cookstown came back well during the third quarter, which ended 2-2. Going into the last quarter and with The Reds holding a slender 3-2 lead, Holcombe were awarded a penalty corner in the last minute which they converted to draw 3-3.
The second day started with Holcombe playing Inverleith and with the Scottish guys still suffering from the Cookstown hospitality, the English side had a comfortable 5-0 win.
The winners of the tournament were to be decided in the last game, with Cookstown needing a win and Cardiff needing a draw.
But it was to be Cardiff’s day as they converted early chances to lead 2-0. The Reds pulled one back but the Welsh lads turned on the style and ran out 4-1 winners.