Cookstown worked hard for an invaluable three points that takes them above Saturday’s visitors and out of the relegation places for the first time in 2016.
The Reds can look back on some key moments in the match that fell their way as well as another incredible performance in goal from the totemic Ian Hughes.
Cork had the better of their hosts early on as they forced a short corner off Rollins. Hughes, not for the first time during the match, was equal to John Jermyn’s powerful drag.
The turning point in the match came at the end of the first quarter. While one umpire blew to end the half, the other pointed for a stroke after Hughes was adjudged to have felled Jermyn as the striker was about to shoot. Much to the ‘keeper’s dismay, the decision stood but a great save really turned the match in Cookstown’s favour.
Having been very much second best in the first quarter, Cookstown became a different beast in the second as they combined down the right to win a free in the corner. Thompson fed Greg Allen who fired a powerful ball across the Cork ‘keeper Billy Lynch to find Simon Todd who will rarely score from an easier opportunity.
Their lead was quickly extended. A slick move resulted in a terrible tackle by David Hobbs inside the ‘25 which the umpire deemed to be worth a penalty corner. The ball was dragged back by Todd to Ryan Millar for a reverse deflection into the roof.
Cork came out fighting in the third quarter and it was all hands to the pump as the visitors tried everything to get back into the game. At least three corners were defended by Cookstown and, as some decisions went the way of the home side, there was a hint of discontent from Cork which would play a part in the final outcome.
The Munster men lacked the killer instinct that Cookstown had shown in the final third and any danger was snuffed out by Hughes and his band of men in front of him.
Rarely did Cookstown venture into the Cork half in great numbers, but were determined and fully deserved their two goal lead by the end of the quarter. They did, however, win a short corner that saw Millar’s drag flick saved off the line when Lynch was beaten.
In a quarter where Cork was expected to come hard at Cookstown, the home team deserve all the pludits for a wonderful 15 minute spell that showed they have the ability to find end of season safety. They came out fighting and attacking as they forced Cork backwards and tiredness gave more momentum to the Reds.
Jonny Ames was instrumental as he made the game safe with a fine reverse stick finish. He picked the defender’s pocket inside the circle to find the top corner.
Cork lost two players to ill discipline and Cookstown increased their lead when a switched short corner gave Millar the chance to flick in to double his tally for the day and, more importantly, seal three very important points.