COOKSTOWN suffered an EHL hangover during the first quarter of this important IHL game. They started very lethargic lacking ball pace and they struggled to cope with the speedy Monkstown forwards. An early Hughes save was not enough as after 3 minutes Monkstown took the lead when Gareth Watkins stopped the ball chest high at the back post for a tap in to make it 1-0.
It was only towards the end of the quarter that Cookstown actually started playing hockey and this led to there first short corner which Fitzgerald saved from Sloan Jnr.
The second quarter started more lively but Monkstown were still playing the more fluent hockey. A mistake at the back from Keith Black led to a good Hughes save from Watkins.
Eventually Cookstown upped the ball pace and showed a lot more urgency which resulted in an equaliser after Crooks showed good pace down the right hand side and played a good ball across for Smyth to tap in on his reverse side.
In the final minute a triple save from Hughes kept the score line at 1-1 at half time.
Into the third quarter and Cookstown exerted good early pressure. Another skilful run down the right from Thompson and a great ball across the face of the goal allowed Greg Allen to dive onto the oncoming pass and put Cookstown in front.
At this stage it was all Cookstown and they won two penalty corners which resulted in a Fitzgerald save and Hutchinson hitting the post with the other.
Monkstown equalised early in fourth quarter when Robbie McFarlane got on the end of a cross to sweep home at the back post after Cookstown had committed too many men forward as they tried to make the game safe.
At this stage it was all end to end stuff as both teams went all out for the win but neither team could find the winner. In the end a draw was probably the fairest result.
Cookstown Hockey club fixtures for Saturday 5th November:
Glenanne V Cookstown 3pm IHL
Mossley 2nds V Cookstown 2nds 2.30pm
Cookstown 3rds V Harlequins 2nds 2.30pm
Mossley 4ths V Cookstown 4ths 1pm
Cookstown 5ths V Antrim 3rds 4pm
Ladies 1sts V Portadown 1pm
Ladies 2nds V Lurgan 4ths 2.30pm Sand