Holcombe raid Cheevers tournament to land title in Tyrone

Holcombe off their pre-season by claiming the Nigel Cheevers Memorial Tournament trophy for the second time with a defiant 4-0 victory over hosts Cookstown.

Cookstown had started the tournament with a 2-1 victory over Pembroke Wanderers on Saturday before Holcombe came from behind to beat the Dublin side 3-2 on Saturday evening in a brilliant game under the lights.

Cookstown’s side at the Nigel Cheevers tournament

This meant that it was winner-takes-all on Sunday afternoon as the Tyrone and Kent men met at Steelweld Park.

The first half was an evenly poised affair with both sides having chances and getting into good positions on the field.

Holcombe opened the scoring from the short corner set piece just into the second quarter when Robert Field lashed the ball into the bottom corner. Nick Bandurak almost made it 2-0 but Josh McCabe in the Cookstown goal made two excellent saves from his initial flick and from his point-blank follow-up.

McCabe was called into action soon thereafter when Field showed an amazing turn of speed on the deadball line to win a penalty corner. The Irish U21 keeper turned Field’s drag over the bar.

However, there was no saving the strike that put Holcombe 2-0 up. A great break down the right saw the ball spill to Bandurak and he rifled it home with an upright reverse seven minutes into the third quarter.

Field’s second goal made that strike look positively timid just two minutes later. He picked up the ball on the edge of the circle and thumped it past McCabe for 3-0.

And with five minutes remaining in Q3, Bandurak claimed his second, finishing off a fine attacking move by James Davies and Conor Caplan.

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