John Watson left Shaw’s Bridge wondering how he didn’t get his name on the Instonians score sheet, as he hit the woodwork no fewer than three times.
With three minutes on the clock, Watson hit the crossbar and then in a two minute period in the second half, he managed to hit both posts.
However, it was left to Inst’s debutants Andy Coulter and Stuart McNiece to grab a goal-a-piece and Inst Coach Mark Irwin was delighted with his side’s win.
Irwin said: “I am very pleased with that result and performance, as Cookstown beat us quite heavily in the IHL last season.
“We would really like to reach the semi-finals, as it has been a while since we reached the semi-finals of the Kirk Cup and we have set ourselves a target this season to get into the semis.”
Coulter opened his Inst account in the ninth minute, when he sliced home Inst’s first penalty corner of the game. But Inst had to wait until the final 15 minutes for their next goal.
And it came after Watson thumped the ball off the upright and James Corry snapped up the rebound to tap it home.
With two minutes remaining, Inst wrapped up the points when debutant McNiece got a thoroughly deserved goal. And then right on the whistle, Cookstown stole some shine off Inst’s win, after Andrew Smyth guided home a Mark Rooney cross.
Philip Brown scored his first ever goal for Banbridge, as the Havelock Road side steam-rolled visitors Mossley 8-1.
Simon Magowan grabbed his second hat-trick of his Kirk Cup campaign, with two goals from Fraser Mills and one-a-piece from Bruce McCandless and Eugene Magee also scoring for Bann.
A hat-trick from William Edgar helped Annadale to a comfortable 5-0 over Civil Service.
Goals from John Watt, Matthew Leckey and Johnny Long gave Raphoe a deserved 3-1 win over Harlequins.