Hockey: Cookstown prove too good for Civil Service

Mark Crooks scored the first for Cookstown on Saturday
Mark Crooks scored the first for Cookstown on Saturday

Cookstown 3-0 Civil Service

Civil Service travelled to Steelweld Park on Saturday afternoon for the Red’s first home fixture of the New Year.

Paul Thompson returned to the squad following a hamstring strain which had discharged him from duty for most of December.

The game started rather sluggishly with both teams failing to find any rhythm throughout the opening twenty minutes. Civil Service came close through two consecutive penalty corners but were sent astray by Hughes and his corner team.

Cookstown broke the deadlock after 25 minutes when a loose ball was rebounded into the goal by Mark Crooks following a penalty corner save.

The Reds grabbed a second quickly after the restart with Ames finding Stuart Smyth around the flick spot who managed to create enough space to flick high into the away goal.

After the half-time break the Reds continued to hold the lion’s share of possession but were unable to convert their chances into goals.

The Cookstown faithful, braving the horrid conditions, found themselves counting down with the scoreboard as Cookstown missed chance after chance, the worst of those by Ames and Crooks respectively.

Ewan Butler converted a drag-flick low into the bottom right hand corner, leaving it 3-0 to Cookstown when the umpire blew the welcomed final whistle to a fairly unattractive game of hockey at Steelweld.

The 1st XI will now travel to Civil Service on Saturday 17th January for their away leg of the Premier League fixture.