Cookstown out to beat Mossley in Premiership

Philip Brown
Philip Brown

Cookstown could move into second spot in the GOC Estate Agents premiership if they defeat Mossley on Friday night at their County Tyrone base.

However, it could be short-lived if Lisnagarvey take a point off Annadale on Saturday, as the two clubs will swap places.

The Reds have been quietly moving up the league and a win tonight will be their sixth straight win on the trot. They look to have booked a spot in next season’s much debated Irish Hockey League.

But there is still some doubt as to whether they will take it, as we know two premiership clubs are for the IHL but the other three clubs in contention have yet to declare their hand.

Premiership leaders, Banbridge, who are 100% behind the new IHL, travel to Belfast Harlequins. Bann look strong favourites to secure their fourth straight win even without their four Irish Internationals who are currently in America with Ireland at the World League 2.

And without Irish International Philip Brown, Bann still have the depth of talent in the squad to secure another three points.

Harlequins are having a miserable season, with only one win under their belt in 15 outings the Deramore Park side have struggled to find any form. This week they are without their coach, Johnny Caren, and Jonny Bloomfield steps in.

Annadale will have a full strength squad for the visit of Lisnagarvey. Dale have moved into 5th place in the premiership and are at least in the IHL wildcards. But they have only played 10 games and they are capable of clinching an automatic qualifying spot.

It won’t be an easy game for Garvey, especially at Dale’s Lough Moss base and it is tough call who will win.

Senior One Leaders South Antrim will be without Nathan Gamble for their trip to Portrush and the Lisburn outfit will be out to bag another three points.

Title chasers, Portadown, have a tough trip to North Down. The Ports are missing Stuart Bell and Stevie Johnson for the game and a share of the spoils is a likely outcome.

Campbellians will be hoping they can stop their run of poor results with a win over Antrim. Raphoe entertain Bangor at their county Donegal base with Queens playing bottom of the table PSNI at the Dub.

Senior Two leaders, Armagh, will be confident they can secure their place at the top with three points against visitors Parkview.

There is also Irish Junior Cup action as Annadale II’s take on Cookstown II’s in the all Ulster clash. And Inst II’s are home to Dublin visitors Railway Union II’s.

And in the Sinton’s at the Bridge Burney Cup quarter-finals, holders Wallace face Friends in a rerun of last week’s game after the two sides locked out at 2-2.