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Cookstown are on revenge mission in Irish Cup

By Graham Hamilton

Keith Black slumped onto his hunkers and hung his head in despair - his Cookstown club had just lost in the all-Ireland league play-off against UCD, a result which relegated them into the provincial set-up.

May's result was hard to swallow for the defender and the other members of the Red Army, as things had turned belly-up over the last month of last season to leave them down and out.

But fast forward eight months and Cookstown get a chance of revenge when they take on the UCD students in their own backyard with a place in the Irish Senior Cup semi-finals at stake.

Since that play-off setback, things have been on the up for the Tyrone side - unbeaten in the Ulster Premier League, through to the all-Ireland Cup semi-finals and the only blot on their copybook being that humiliating 8-1 Kirk Cup final defeat on Boxing Day against a rampant Annadale.

They managed to get revenge on Dale 10 days later with a 3-1 win in the league - and now revenge is on their minds again as they bid to lower UCD's colours.

Cookstown keeper Tobias Depperman has never played in a cup final before as he was an absentee as the Red Army crashed in that Kirk Cup final - he had returned home for Christmas.

"I wasn't with Cookstown when they last played UCD but they were disappointed to have been relegated," said Depperman. "The guys are fired up to win this game and I see no reason why we can't go all the way."

Two other provincial teams meet head-on - Corinthian and Mossley - and each have a matchwinner in Jonny Bruton and Simon Todd respectively.

Banbridge face the Cork C of I team they beat 3-2 at Havelock Park last Sunday and should have several of the five stars they were missing available, which will strengthen their hand.

Instonians have holders Monkstown coming to Shaw's Bridge and hope they can shrug off their IHL form and come up with a cup upset instead.

The big game in the Ulster Premier League sees new leaders Kilkeel host third-placed Annadale, a game which will show if the Mournemen have the credentials to challenge for the title.

Meanwhile, five Ulster teams take part in the Irish Hockey Trophy and three could make next week's semi-final draw.

Finally, Cookstown, Antrim and Civil Service take part in the Ulster indoor series at Queen's on Sunday.

Belfast Telegraph

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