A review of the latest on the hockey front
Cookstown claimed the Ulster Indoor Championship title for the second time in two years with a winner-takes-all victory over Banbridge at Queen’s University PEC on Sunday.
As expected, it didn’t all go Cookstown’s way but the 2017 champions were able to claim the title again with a 4-3 win over a star-studded Banbridge side in the final game.
Game one saw favourites Bann hit Queen’s University for four without reply. North Down were first up for Cookstown in game two but goals for Jack Haycock, Mark Crooks, Stu Smyth and Michael Kerr gave the Reds a 4-2 win.
It was a quick turnaround for Cookstown with Queen’s up next. The home side make the Tyrone men work for it, holding them to a 3-3 draw thanks to goals from Smyth (2) and Scotty McCabe.
Bann kept their 100% winning record with a 6-1 victory over North Down before the students got one over the Comber lads with a 6-4 triumph in game five.
That meant that Cookstown had to win their last match against Bann. In a tense affair the they emerged as 4-3 winners with Jack Haycock hitting a double alongside scores from Kerr and Raymond Miller.
Cookstown, who led 4-2 before Bann pulled a late goal back, will now represent Ulster at Irish Indoor Finals on Sunday
In the Anderson Cup on Saturday, Cookstown and Lisnagarvey all but booked their places in the semi finals after big quarter final first leg wins.
Andy Williamson scored twice as Garvey crushed Bangor 7-1 while McCabe also got a double in Cookstown’s 6-1 victory at Newry.
Dane Ward hit two as Instonians beat Mossley 5-3 in a delayed first round game as the Belfast side progressed 7-4 on aggregate to earn a meeting with North Down in the last eight.
On the women’s front, Ballymoney have closed the gap on Ulster Premier League leaders Lurgan to a single point after a hard fought 2-0 win over Dungannon at the Joey Dunlop Centre.
However, they left it late as Katharine Minahan scored twice in the last 10 minutes to see off a dogged Tyrone side.
Queen’s stay in third place after a 3-0 win over Randalstown at the Antrim Forum but have three games in hand over Ballymoney and two over Lurgan.
Rebecca Quinn, playing against her former club, broke the deadlock following a penalty corner in the 25th minute.
Jessica McMaster doubled the students’ lead in similar fashion 15 minutes after the break and Emily McStea wrapped up a comfortable win with a superb finish near the end.
“Having beaten Banbridge 4-0 on Monday, it’s been a good week for us although we didn’t play as well against Randalstown, who made it tough for us and their keeper was outstanding,” said Queen’s coach Simon Bell.
Lisnagarvey remain in fourth place after goals from Katie Morris, Kerry McIlwaine, Rachel Houston and Jenna Flynn sealed a 4-0 victory over Ballymena.
In the late slot at Meadowbank, Rainey and Mossley fought out a scoreless draw meaning Ballymena are ahead of the Magherafelt side only on goal difference at the bottom.
In Senior One, Omagh stay top after a double from Aimee Buchanan helped them to a 3-1 win over North Down in Comber.
Raphoe remain two points off the pace after Lisa Patterson got the all important goal in a 1-0 victory at Coleraine.