Saturday, March 21, 2009

Cookstown produce first-class performance

Cookstown HS 2 (Stephen Sloan, Stuart Smyth) St Andrew's College 0
An immaculate Cookstown performance at Grange Road saw the Tyrone side become the inaugural John Waring champions as they produced a complete performances to gain revenge over St Andrew's.

The Saints had dumped reigning champions Cookstown out of last October’s extended version of All-Ireland school’s competition.

But it was a different the story in the ‘super-sixes’ as the Tyrone school –inspired by Stuart Smyth and David Best – netted two first half goals and never looked back to record a handsome 2-0 victory.

The manner of victory, though, was something to behold. Town impressed in all areas, through the trickery of Ian Sloan, the direct and forceful running of player-of-the-match Stuart Smyth to the impenetrable defending of David Best, the performance had it all.

Both sides went into the tie missing big-hitters. Irish senior international David Ames missed out for Cookstown with an elbow injury sustained in the Ulster final against Banbridge two weeks ago while underage international Stephen Cole was marked absent due to an open fracture in his foot.

It meant a midfield reshuffle for Andrew’s and they never truly got to grips with the mix of aggression and guile supplied by Stephen Sloan – one of two sons of Irish legend Marty on show.

Town hit the front early on when Smyth’s audacious overhead from a long corner found Mark Wilson unmarked on the back post. His effort was blocked by Stephen West but the rebound was cleared deliberately over the end line, resulting in the game’s first penalty corner.

Ian Sloan set up his brother Stephen to slam home, via a slight deflection. Smyth was delivering a master class by the time he netted the second. His disguised reverse pass fed Mark Crooks and the flying winger beat two defenders on the end line, returned the favour to Smyth and he swept home forcefully from just six yards out.

Davy Carson - depsite suffering from illness during the week - was showing plenty of menace at the other end, latching onto Richard Sykes' long clearances out of the Andrew's defence and Alister Thom was called on a couple of times to deny the danger but as the game wore on, such chances proved more and more sporadic.

And after the break Cookstown were never truly threatened, using their tight-knit passing game to camp in the Andrew's half while Best gave a sweeping master-class to mop up any loose balls.

It means the inaugural title heads north - the 2007 All-Ireland school's champions adding yet another to the town's recent list of accolades.


* For more pictures from today's game from Inpho, click here. For Lindie Naughton's pictures from the John Waring, click here.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Player of the tournament should have been Stuart Smyth

Anonymous said...

Cookstown were unbelieveable, a school team that wont ever be matched again!!

Anonymous said...

is there any pictures of the boys final?

Anonymous said...

any pics from the final steve?

Anonymous said...

as a wesley player it was fustrating to see Cookstown win but they were superb. any team that can keep carl eggert, kyle good, sam olery and theo kirwan quiet in two seperate matches deserve to win. i agree with stuart smyth for player of the tournament but in the final there were any number of choices for man of the match. best was brilliant, wilson ames and crooks were untouchable on the right and both goals stemed from the right hand side through wilson and crooks. ian sloan for young player of the year!

Wesley for the treble 2010!

Anonymous said...

who got player of the tournament?

Anonymous said...

i thought the fianl was a bit of a let down compared to the pool games!
Considering a 3-3 draw between andrews and banbridge and 2-1 between cookstown and wesley. It wasn't a very competitive game. Wesley Cookstown would have provided a better game

Anonymous said...

Cookstown dominated from start to finish and deserved the win by far... Think there only real test was Wesley and they passed that, narrowly however... Although any team able to keep Wesley's 3 up front relatively quite for the whole game are very impressive!!

Anonymous said...

cookstown wont ever be matched but they didnt even get out of their group in the all irelands???

Anonymous said...

Final game of tournament was one of the best schoolboy matches I have ever seen. Some of the Senior sides could learn from the work rate and the passing the school teams demonstrated. Also while it was competitive it was played in excellent sporting spirit. Well done both teams.(Just for the records Ian Sloan scored two drag flicks against Ashton - none of the press seem to know this)

Ian Sloan said...

Thanks Stephen Findlater for this report of the final. Not sure about the 'legendary' Marty Sloan tho!!!! This blog is immaculate.

Anonymous said...

ye wesley will be top quality next yr

Anonymous said...

Anyone else think it is once again typical and idiotic of the IHA to run another schools tournament in the last final weeks of the Ulster/Leinster Senior Men leagues?

Also the amount of hockey these players have to play is unbelievable.

Wake up IHA

Anonymous said...

do any of the schools every play clubs would be interesting to see some of the reults

Anonymous said...

i think wesley were very unlucky with one bad half ruining their tournament.

i find it interesting that they beat comfortably ashton 4-0,who cookstown drew with, and bambridge 4-1,who andrews drew with.

Anonymous said...

With all the talk from wesley...they better produce next year!Cookstown talked themselves up and fairplay produced

Anonymous said...

St Andrews missed Coley more than we missed Slim...

Anonymous said...

Too much hockey for the lads especially 6th years. Too close to the exams. They dont need this tournament

Anonymous said...

Andrews missed Stephen Cole big time.

Anonymous said...

banbridge were a little under the weather when playing wesley i think!!!

David said...

i have to say there was some great hockey on show, i was only down for thursday but every game epitomized what good school hockey should be.

i've been critical of the level the past couple of seasons but the standard of the John Waring was a fitting tribute to the man. i think he would have approved.

couple of issues with the tournament.
1, i know the girls have an established tournament at this time of year but i felt that the boys were marginalized.
if setanta were only going to film the final why not play at UCD, pembroke or where ever?

2, i know it's difficult to find a perfect time to stage the event but i think it has to be set up to allow top officials to umpire, the guys work hard to get there it's only fair.

3, and maybe this is a huge stretch, but we've seen the success of this blog, mainly due to Stephen's excellent work...
would there be an opening for an internet irish hockey TV site?
rather than relying on outside broadcasters to promote out sport get on it from the inside?
an event like this would have been ripe for such exposure?

Anonymous said...

smyth for player of the tournament. although best was superb and s sloan also excellent in final..loughrey just couldn't deal with him at all..

I think the whole 'slim is the only reason why cookstown win everything' argument was pretty much nullified. Cookstown well and truly got the last laugh. Slim was their best player but don't forget smyth who is the second best schoolboy hockey player in ireland, best, s sloan, thom(best keeper), young ames and young sloan. and of course crooks had a great final.

Cookstown proved themselves to be the best in ireland and shut up all the critics

Anonymous said...

Cookstown proved they were the best team in Ireland again as they were last year but still can not forget the age of some of the Cookstown boys, very good players but at schools level there should be a an age limit. This rule has to be changed, also all this talk of wesley always the same, leave it until next year and let the present winners take the spotlight. Sloan and Smyth had a great final.

Anonymous said...

they dont hold in ucd/pembroke because they have to set up alot more in those two places than in threerock.

Anonymous said...

the comment left at 5.33pm is a joke. One of Cookstown's players repeated a year at school so is one year older. All of the other players are the correct age so to say that you, "still can not forget the age of some of the Cookstown boys", is incorrect. Correct me if i am wrong but apparently some of the Wesley players are also 19.

Anonymous said...

Not sure why people are so keen for Pembroke to be used. not the best ground for spectators at all.

Anonymous said...

lets not dip into ages and where the games should be played.

i felt it wwas a great tournament for the boys even tho the girls got more coverage..

Cookstown were too good for every one even without their captain of the past 2 years. we can only say congrats to them on a very succesfull season

Anonymous said...

The post at 5:33pm needs to get his/her facts correct...indeed there was an age limit imposed on this tournament that didn't allow David Ames to play (If he wasn't injured he wasn't allowed to play because he fell outside the age limit!) Its always good to get facts correct before posting on blog sites.

Thomas T said...

Keeper... class

Defence... unforgiving

Midfield... Immense

Forwards... weak in comparison to other sections

Cookstown... UNTOUCHABLE

Anonymous said...

I agree with 3:59, it isn't ideal to rely on outside broadcasters to promote the sport especially as setanta is running into credit problems along with most of the world.

Could TRR/IHA/Leinster Branch buy some digital TV equipment to be used to film games it has become very affordable.

We could at least film the games and put them online or onto Dublin Community TV to ensure hockeys coverage into the future. RTE/TV3 might be interested given the success of televised hockey.

It is great to see setanta supporting hockey and everyone should support them! Looking forward to watching the games and hopefully the boys games will get more coverage in the future.

Anonymous said...

what a team cookstown are stuart smith should have been player of the tourment. ian sloan best ulster u16 player yet and is best young player of the year it is a great honer playing with at school and club but the whole team is amazing and have great coatches like m haycock.

WHAT A TEAM WILL NEVER BE A TEAM LIKE IT AGIAN. LETS GO COOKSTOWN

Anonymous said...

there will never be a team like it....best smyth and s sloan on same school team...awesome

Anonymous said...

who is thomas t?????? cookstown went out with a bang proving themselves to be the best team ever in schoolboy hockey

Anonymous said...

Dont forget Crooks and possibly young ames along with smyth, best and s sloan

Anonymous said...

thomas t what were you watching? it certainly wasnt cookstown

hockeychick said...

ian sloan has to be young player of the year!

Anonymous said...

Defence of Cookstown is very strong, I agree with the previous comment about Cookstowns' forwards. Yes, they do have pace and a lot of work-rate but they seem to be weaker than the rest of the team.

Young Sweetnam for Young Player of the Year.

Anonymous said...

march 25 8.50 you must be joking. maybe you're forgetting that we have the best schoolboy winger in Ireland, Mark Crooks, up front. maybe you're also forgetting that we have the irish version of teun de nooijer up front in 15 yearl old ian sloan. Both of these players would walk onto ANY schoolboy team therefore to say the forwards are weak is stupid. There were more internationals in the front line than in the backline. Crooks, Ian vs. Best. Although 3 in midfield

Anonymous said...

Cookstown had an unforgetable season, well known as the greatest school boy side that ireland will ever see. the team can be proud of themselves whilst walking away from school boy hockey with such an achivement. cookstown will suffer in the next few years as the majority of the team are leaving school. but a glimer of hope will come in the from of Ian sloan who will bring speed and skill to the game, David atkinson who will use his strengh to great affect and not forgetting micheal haycock who will bring fitness and brains on to the pitch.



wel done lads, all the best in the future

Anonymous said...

Cookstown have an amazing side. Ames (who wasn't even playing), Best, Smyth, S Sloan, Crooks the list goes on.

Best, Smyth and Sloan my men of the match