Football: Cookstown RBL hold on in thriller against Whiteabbey

RBL's Keith Rollins. on the ball. Pic: Daron Pattrerson.
RBL's Keith Rollins. on the ball. Pic: Daron Pattrerson.
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Cookstown RBL travelled to Whiteabbey in the 3rd round of the Canada Cup with a quarter final place at stake and came away victorious.

Earlier in the season these two teams played out a draw but this match proved to be a real ding dong battle.

Whiteabbey were looking sharp as they used their pace on the both flanks but it was McMenemey who had the first chance when his shot hit the post. Whiteabbey were happy enough to soak up the RBL pressure and counter attack.

Whiteabbey did open the scoring with a well worked move on the right flank and a superb cross which was headed into the net giving Forrest no chance in the RBL goal.

RBL knuckled down and that man Kelso from all off 25 yards out with one of his trade mark strikes levelled the game.

Whiteabbey then applied pressure to the RBL goal but it was from a quick counter attack that the RBL took the lead.

A ball out by Forrest found McMenemey and he rattled a shot from 40 yards out into the roof of the net much to the delight of his team mates.

Smith and Ally Aoung were working well as a team in the mid field and they were pushing searching balls for allen and Mcpartland to feed off.

Campbell was being his temperamental self and the referee had to have a word with him. Cookstown RBL were having alot of the play and all of the goal scoring chances.

A long hopeful ball caught Forrest in no mans land 
and he failed to clear his line and Whiteabbey duely equalised.

McMenemey then hit the cross bar, Ally Young headed wide but the best chance fell to Ryan Smith who had the goal at his mercy but he blasted over the bar and the referee blew the full time whistle.

A winner had to be found so it was extra time. Whiteabbey took the lead with a wicket shot that eluded Forrest and the home supporters went wild with delight.

Over the last few weeks the RBL have adopted a never say die approach and within a minute they equalised. A beautiful flighted ball by Allen and there was McMenemey to guide a bullet of a header into the Whiteabbey goal.

The RBL were all over the Whiteabbey defence now and were looking for the winner.

Several chances went a begging and it looked like penalties to decide the winner but there was the flying scots man Smith in a crowded box and with his lightning quick feet danced around two defenders and buried a shot low and hard into the net to give the Rbl the lead with only seconds left on the clock.

Cookstown held 
their nerve and won the match 4-3 were they will play Castlestar at home in the quarter-final.

This Saturday 18th January, Cookstown RBL meet Carniny Amateurs at Beechway 2pm.