Cookstown Euro dreams in tatters

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Cookstown 3 Lisnagarvey 4

COOKSTOWN went into last weekends Irish Hockey League semi finals with the prospect of qualifying for Europe for the second year running. However, their dreams of another European adventure were put to an end after Irish international Timmy Cockram netted a superb hat-trick.

It was a below par performance from Cookstown and they were severely hampered by an injury to Ian Sloan, who was left hobbling through the second half.

The hosts raced into a two goal lead. Cockram slammed a bullet of an effort into the bottom corner for his first of the afternoon. Number two came after Arbuthnot saw his initial drag deflected to Raphael, who passed across the ‘D’ to Cockram who dodged left and flipped the ball on the reverse past Hughes.

However, Cookstown grabbed themselves a lifeline just prior to the break. A long ball was controlled well by Allen on the edge of the circle and he won his side’s first corner. Ian Sloan slammed home to make it 2-1.

Nonetheless the two goal lead was restored on 52 minutes when Cockram robbed Best of the ball out on the left. He rounded a tackle and slammed past Hughes.

Despite being out of sorts Cookstown somehow drew level with a quick fire double. Allen slotted home after an error from Tormey and Sloan fired home to leave it 3-3.

With only seconds left Lisnagarvey produced a moment of magic worthy of winning any tie. Raphael sold Barbour a dummy before threading through to Cockram. He spun to his right and slipped the ball to the onrushing Raphael who chipped past Hughes to seal a 4-3 win.

Cookstown: I Hughes, M Rollins, E Butler, I Sloan, A Barbour, S Sloan, M Crooks, D Best, G Allen, T Smyth, K Black. Subs: R Millar, G Cuddy, R Meller, P Thompson, A McWhirter

Lisnagarvey: J Tormey, B Waring, J Bell, R Arneill, P MacDonnell, M Raphael, T Cockram, S Arbuthnot, D Buser, S McNeice, G Thompson. Subs: G Bittle, A Fallis, A Forrest, A McCann, R Cummins