Eleven goal thriller at Coolnafranky

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Ulster Premier League

Cookstown 6 Kilkeel 5

A LAST GASP double by Greg Allen saved Cookstown from a home defeat by Kilkeel on Saturday and made certain the Reds’ automatic qualification for next season’s Irish Hockey League.

Kilkeel had gone 1-0 up before Cookstown came back through Stuart Smyth and Mark Crooks efforts. However, despite Gareth Cuddy bagging his eleventh of the season, the Reds found themselves 5-3 down with just 15 minutes to go.

Thankfully, Timmy Smyth and Greg Allen were on hand and gave the Reds the win they so desperately wanted to secure their IHL spot.

“We scored some good goals,” said Captain Godfrey Irwin, “but we also let in some stinkers. Perhaps it was because we were missing Andy Barbour and Ewan Butler, but it took us a while to get into our stride. That is really no excuse and we will have to cut down on our mistakes before we play Instonians on Saturday.

“Kilkeel are very unpredictable and have some very fast forwards who are good on the ball. Throw in a few dodgy umpiring decisions and our own dreadful mistakes and it made for an exciting finish.”