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Richardson Cup Triumph

Updated: May 14

Cookstown High School u15…2 (Callum Hewitt & Edward Irwin)

RBAI u15… (Frank Holloway)

 

On the 20th of March 2024, Cookstown High School faced off against RBAI in the Richardson Cup Final, the culmination of under 15s Ulster school hockey. This highly anticipated rematch of the Ferris Cup Final promised an intense battle, and it certainly lived up to expectations.

 

In a fiercely contested match, Cookstown emerged victorious with a hard-fought 2-1 win, marking their 13th Richardson Cup victory. The game ignited early as RBAI's Frank Hollway swiftly converted a penalty corner in the 6th minute, catching Cookstown off guard with an early lead. Despite this setback, Cookstown's spirits remained high.

 

In the 10th minute, Cookstown came close to equalising, but a deflection over the bar denied them a goal. However, their resilience paid off in the 14th minute when Callum Hewitt showcased exceptional skill, equalising for Cookstown with a sublime swivel and flick. Momentum shifted in Cookstown's favour, and although RBAI narrowly missed a penalty corner opportunity in the 20th minute, Cookstown's defence held firm.

 

The defining moment arrived in the 29th minute when Cookstown's captain, Ed Irwin, demonstrated his leadership by flicking home another penalty corner, securing the lead once again. Captain Irwin's standout performance throughout the match was instrumental in Cookstown's victory.

 

Despite dominating possession, Cookstown couldn't extend their advantage further, but their resolute defence ensured they held on for the win.

 

Notable performances came from Lee Brisbane, Charlie Costelloe, and David Cuddy, whose contributions were crucial in maintaining Cookstown's solid defensive line. Additionally, Isaac Kelso and Ethan Redford showcased their prowess in counter-attacking, creating numerous chances and winning penalty corners for their team.

 

This victory was not only a triumph in itself but also secured the Junior Cup Schools treble for Cookstown, following victories in the Bannister Bowl (u13) and Ferris Cup (u14) earlier in the week. Such an achievement, previously accomplished only by Banbridge Academy, highlights Cookstown's rich heritage in schoolboy hockey and reflects the excellent coaching within the school.

 

Cookstown Squad

Aaron Abernethy, Ben Barbour, Joshua Bell, Lee Brisbane, Caleb Caskey, Charlie Costelloe, David Cuddy, Caleb Crooks, Edward Irwin (captain), Isaac Kelso, Sam Hamill, Jack Patterson, Benji Patterson, Bobbi Robinson, Ethan Redford

Coaches: Godfrey Irwin, Julian Costelloe, Michael Haycock & Stephen Cuddy

 

CAPTAIN Ed Irwin

"Securing the U15 Richardson Cup feels like a dream come true. Scoring during the game felt great, but what truly shines is the collective effort of our team. This victory isn't just ours; it belongs to our school, our coaches, and everyone who's supported us along the way. Today's match was tough, but achieving the Junior Schools Cup treble makes it even more special, especially considering we knew that the 13s and 14s had already won their cups.

 

Facing off against RBAI is always a challenge; many of us know their players well, as we've competed together in the same Ulster team. This familiarity adds an extra layer of intensity to the competition, making the victory more satisfying. RBAI is a formidable team, and they're a great bunch of lads. It's great to compete against them."

 

HEAD OF SPORT MICHAEL HAYCOCK

"It's truly an amazing achievement for our school to secure all three junior schools cups. This is a feat we've never accomplished before, and it's a testament to the dedication and talent of our young athletes. The U15s final, in particular, stands out as probably the most comfortable of the three finals. The boys played exceptionally well, especially after conceding an early goal.

 

I must acknowledge the invaluable contribution of our volunteer parent coaches, Godfrey Irwin, Julian Costelloe, and Stephen Cuddy. Their dedication and expertise have played a significant role in our success. It's incredibly gratifying to see the rich heritage of schoolboy hockey continuing to thrive.

 

Lifting the Richardson Cup for the 13th time is a remarkable achievement, and I'd like to express my gratitude to Principal Miss G Evans for her support throughout the week. Congratulations to all the boys for their hard work and commitment."

 

PRINCIPAL MISS G EVANS

"What an incredible set of results we've seen throughout the week! It's truly fantastic to secure the junior schools cup treble. A heartfelt congratulations to our U15s for their outstanding performance against RBAI.

 

A special mention of appreciation goes to Head of Sport Mr. Haycock and his dedicated coaches - Mr. Cuddy, Mr. Costelloe, Mr. Irwin and Mrs Hall. Their hard work and guidance have been instrumental in our success.

 

I'd also like to extend my gratitude to all the parents for their unwavering support. It's been a fantastic week for our school, and this achievement is a testament to the collective effort and dedication of our entire community.”


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