Cookstown Ladies 3 Portadown Ladies 2
ON Saturday Cookstown played host to Portadown. Going into the match the girls knew it would be a strong, physical Portadown side they were facing.
The first half started with end to end play but Portadown were first to break the deadlock going 1-0 up with a well worked goal. Cookstown fought back and were soon on the attack again. Great work up front from C. Brown and L. McAleece saw the Cookstown side winning their first short corner of the match.
A straight strike from L. McAleece was initially saved but quick reactions from R. Brown enabled her to put the rebounded shot into the back of the net. Despite some controversy from the Portadown side regarding one of their players being injured as the goal went in, the umpires stuck to their decision and the goal was awarded.
The match took a new heated turn, with both teams fighting for every ball.
The next goal came from Portadown, leaving the scoreline at 1-1, heading towards the end of the first half. Cookstown were quick to respond however with C. Brown winning a short corner. L. McAleece stepped up and with a great strike beat the Portadown keeper putting the Cookstown girls 2-1 ahead as the half time whistle blew.
The second half started with a very determined Portadown side eager to get something from the game. However, great work in Cookstown defence saw any Portadown chances shut down and Cookstown pushed to advance their lead.
P. Black was unlucky not to score seeing her shot go just wide. With Portadown still pushing for another goal to level the score, they were controversially awarded a stroke. Luckily for Cookstown the Portadown stroke hit the post and they were able to hold onto their lead.
With the second half nearing a close, Cookstown were defending with everything they had. Great work from G. Brown, R. Smyth, R. Campbell and R. Miller broke down the Portadown attack on numerous occasions.
With two minutes to go Portadown managed to break through and scored a great goal with the right wing deflecting the ball into the back of the net. The Portadown team celebrated, predicting they had managed to get a point from the match in the final minutes.
But Cookstown were not finished yet! C. Brown made a great solo run in midfield and managed to pick out L. McAleece free in the circle with a superbly placed long ball. McAleece, one on one with the keeper, maintained her composure and crashed the ball into the back of the net in the dying seconds of the match.
Cookstown were delighted to come away with a win against one of the tougher oppositions in their league.
Team: B. Williamson, R. Smyth, R. Campbell, G. Brown (VC), R. Miller, L. Gillespie, J. Richardson, R. Brown, C. Brown, E. Harpur L. McAleece(C), L. Johnston and P. Black