Cookstown Ladies 5
Cookstown travelled to Londonderry on Saturday knowing that they had to win to make themselves safe in Senior One. Cookstown also knew Priorians well and knew that they are a resilient side that never gives up and the match proved this.
The Reds started the game well prepared and played with the passing game that they have been working hard on. Priorians really didn’t know what to do and Cookstown were rewarded with an early penalty corner that Laura McAleece was unlucky not to score from.
Cookstown continued with a high pace game and switched the ball from right to left with ease and upsetting Priorians game plan. With 10 minutes in Ruth Brown had her shot denied by a foot on the line and she stepped up to calmly convert the awarded penalty stroke.
This lifted Cookstown’s game more and shortly after Gail Brown converted a penalty corner showing great composure on the ball to calmly lift the ball in over the keeper from a narrow angle. 2-0 and Cookstown were on fire.
Twenty minutes in and Cookstown found themselves 3-0 up from a superb solo effort from Ruth Brown who skilfully beat several players to create a shot from the top of the circle.
At half time Cookstown felt comfortable in the sunshine at Londonderry but knew that Priorians never are a team to give up. The second half saw a lazy Cookstown line up against a much more up beat Priorians and a change of weather to hailstones also dampened the mood for Cookstown.
Priorians quickly took advantage and an error in the defence allowed Priorians to get onto the scoreboard. The Londonderry Ladies quickly capitalized again controversially kicking the ball prior to scoring, but unfortunately for Cookstown the umpire missed it and Priorians were not showing any sporting spirit to admit the truth. A short break due to a torrential hail shower gave Cookstown a most needed chat to wake up and start playing the passing game that had destroyed Priorians in the first half. The Ladies stepped up to the challenge and with 10 minutes left a quick free and cross by Melanie Johnston followed by a deflection from Laura McAleece found Paula Black who surprised herself when she volleyed the ball into the net. This really lifted Cookstown more and they played lovely hockey across the whole pitch.
This was rewarded with Laura McAleece converting a penalty corner and 5-2 was the all important end score with Cookstown taking home three very valuable points.
The Ladies all worked so hard on Saturday to get a brilliant win to show why they are a Senior One side. The Ladies are at home on Friday night to Lisnagarvey and having already upset several others of the top teams they can go into the match with their heads up.