Best of 2013 – the top stories of the year gone by

Over the course of 2013, over 1.1 million pages were viewed on The Hook with 495 stories posted on the site from Leinster schools level to league round-ups to interpro and international level.

Here are the five most read stories from the year (according to Google Analytics), giving a flavour of the year gone by:

1) In January, Cookstown duo David Ames and Ian Sloan confirmed their intentions to pursue international hockey careers with Great Britain, stepping away from the Irish system as a result.

David Ames' decision to declare for Great Britain proved the most read story of 2013 Pic: Adrian Boehm

David Ames’ decision to declare for Great Britain proved the most read story of 2013 Pic: Adrian Boehm

2) Leinster’s Under-21 interprovincial success caught the eye in February, Shane O’Donoghue netting two late goals to deny Ulster the title

3) In the wake of Ireland’s seventh place finish in Rotterdam at World League 3 – a result that saw them miss out on a 2014 World Cup berth – then coach Andrew Meredith said that the country’s high performance model needed serious overhaul.

4) After 99 years without a national title, Monkstown claimed two in quick succession in May. Their Irish Hockey League win over Banbridge was our fourth most popular story of the year.

5) Also in May, new Irish women’s coach Darren Smith created waves as he named a new look panel for the summer, omitting four established names as he sought to bring new blood into the mix in the wake of a disappointing World League 2 campaign.

From a photography perspective, the Irish Hockey Photographers told the story of the year in images at 136 different events over the course of 2013. You can see all of the galleries at the following link while the most popular set of pictures, with the most visitors, proved to be the Leinster Schoolgirl’s Senior Cup final between Mount Anville and Rathdown.

* What were your favourite stories on The Hook in 2013? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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