On Sunday Ulster Hockey hosted our annual U13 Boys Finals Day with teams from across Ulster featuring.
There were two competitions running simultaneously with both a Plate and a Cup up for grabs. Teams featured in group stages before progressing to the knockouts as Raphoe and Cookstown came out on top as Champions.
In total 14 teams entered The Plate with the best four teams progressing from the group stage to the semi-finals.
The two most impressive teams in the group stage proved to be Raphoe and NICS. The County Donegal side topped their group having won three and drawn one of their four matches, whilst Civil Service won all of their matches in the same stage of the competition.
Meanwhile the other two teams to progress to the knockouts where Banbridge and Instonians having grabbed the second place spots.
The first semi-final saw Raphoe take on Instonians which proved to be a tense but exciting game between the two sides. After an initial 1-1 draw in normal time, it took penalty run-ins to separate the two and it was Raphoe who held their nerve and prevailed as 2-1 winners.
The other knockout tie saw Banbridge take on NICS which after another close encounter it was Bann who booked themselves a spot in the final, being the first and only team to beat their opponents on the day.
Those results set up a tough to call final between two sides who impressed throughout the day, but in the end it was the strong Raphoe side who were crowned Champions after coming out victorious as the match finished 1-0.
Differently to The Plate, The Cup featured 12 competing teams with three groups of four and the top two of each being accompanied by the two best placed third sides in the quarter-finals.
After a group stage which was filled with quality matches it was Cookstown caught the eye early on as they won all their matches without conceding a goal, beating Annadale 1-0, South Antrim 2-0 and Portadown 3-0.
Instonians and Banbridge also qualified as group winners, whilst Bangor, Annadale and Mossley came second. Meanwhile, both Lisnagarvey and South Antrim occupied the final positions in the next round.
The four quarter-finals were all closely contested and started with Cookstown beating Lisnagarvey 2-0 before Banbridge and Instonians progressed against Mossley and South Antrim. The last tie of the round proved to be the closest fixture as Bangor and Annadale proved to be inseparable and required penalty run-ins to decide a winner, and it was Bangor who came out on top.
In the first semi-final Cookstown took on Banbridge and fell behind early on. However, 1-0 down they managed to grab an equaliser from a power play as the game went all the way to run-ins. With both teams deserving of a place in the final it was Cookstown who eventually sealed their spot.
The other game saw Bangor unfortunately fall to defeat against Instonians as they conceded a cruel last minute goal and were on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline.
In a repeat of last years final Cookstown took on Inst. The game could have easily went either way as Instonians took a deserved lead after three minutes, but just as they looked to have won the competition their opponents found a late equaliser before proceeding to beat them on penalty run-ins.