Cookstown and Ballymena will enjoy their share of the festive period limelight on Saturday when they meet in the Ulster Senior Cup final at Mossley (2pm).
For many years it has been Cookstown’s men grabbing the headlines around this time of the year but 2013 has certainly brought the spotlight on to the ladies.
They have had their most successful league, cup and Irish Hockey Trophy campaign for many years.
Credit must go to the long serving ‘red army’ twins Claire Brown and recently married Ruth Bell.
“There is no doubt that these girls have been at the heart of Cookstown Ladies for many years and it is great to see their talent finally being recognised,” enthused team captain Louise Donaghy.
“Claire has managed 23 goals in just 13 games this season, and Ruth has adopted well to a midfield role.
“Both sisters are well known throughout the Ulster Hockey scene and are a pleasure to watch.
“We started the season with the one simple goal in mind, that of gaining promotion to the top flight in the 2014 season,” she added.
“As any team says the cup is a bonus but as the ladies 2013 league campaign closed on Wednesday the 11th of December all focus is now on Saturday’s final.”
Cookstown currently sit third in the league and have progressed to round three of the Irish Trophy to be played in February, so they certainly have an exciting few months ahead.
“We have worked so hard for many years trying to bring a trophy back to Steelweld Park and we hope that this year we can do that, not just for us as players, but for the club and sponsors who have supported us through thick and thin,” Louise said.
“Ballymena are a great side and we know we have our work cut out for us, but we will give every ounce to be successful”.