There will be a festival of hockey at Cookstown this weekend as some of the best teams in Ireland and England come to Steelweld Park to compete for the annual Nigel Cheevers Memorial Trophy.
The Reds will take on Pembroke Wanderers at 2.30pm on Saturday before the Dubliners lock horns with English Hockey League outfit, Holcombe under the lights at Steelweld Park at 6.30pm. Cookstown and Holcombe will round out the tournament on Sunday at 1pm.
“This really promises to be an excellent weekend of hockey at Cookstown,” said Reds full back Danny Kerr. “We are all really looking forward to the matches and the challenge that both sides will bring. We are so proud that teams of their calibre still enjoy making the trip to County Tyrone for this tournament.”
Kent team Holcombe count former Cookstown player and current Great Britain international David Ames amongst their number as well as Barry Middleton and George Pinner. They will be looking to claim the coveted pre-season competition title for the second time.
Pembroke finished the EYHL regular season in fourth place last time out and were beaten in their Champion’s Trophy semi-final by league champions, Glenanne. Their main man was goalscorer Alan Sothern, who is now with La Gantoise in Belgium, while their star goalkeeper, Mark Ingram, is with Rotterdam in The Netherlands.
“Both Pembroke and Holcombe are fantastic teams and have some really outstanding players,” Kerr continued. “We will look to take all the positives out of our performances and hopefully have plenty of things to work after playing them.
“We really would like to start this season on the right foot and get a few points on the board as quickly as possible. We’ve had a really good pre-season and worked on a lot of aspects of gameplay that were maybe a bit lacking last season.
In addition to the senior men’s games, Cookstown Ladies will be playing a Cookstown Legends team at 4pm on Saturday while there will also be competitive action with Cookstown II taking on Lisnagarvey II and Cookstown IV up against Kilkeel III in their respective league cup competitions.
The event will be capped with a barbecue for all the players and supporters in Cookstown Hockey Club on Molesworth Street on Saturday evening.
Saturday, September 15th
Cookstown II v Lisnagarvey II 1pm
Queen’s University II v Cookstown III 1pm
Cookstown v Pembroke 2.30pm
Cookstown IV v Kilkeel III 4pm
Cookstown Ladies v Ladies Legends 4pm
Pembroke v Holcombe 6.30pm
Sunday, September 16th
Cookstown v Holcombe 1pm