Football: Cookstown RBL play out thrilling draw with Ballysillan Swifts

Ali Young fires a strike on goal for Cookstown RBL
Ali Young fires a strike on goal for Cookstown RBL

Cookstown RBL travelled to the Shore Road Belfast to take on high flying Ballysillan Swifts.

In previous weeks the RBL had been scoring for fun but this was going to be a real test against one off the promotion chasing teams.

Both teams had a very cagey start due to the pitch being in a dreadful state. Ballysillan had a long range shot and as Forrest got down to collect it, it hit a divot and over his hand, but the ball went wide, much to Forrest’s relief.

The match was a midfield scramble with inform man Campbell and Gray clearing all danger from the Swifts. Just when the half seemed to be going nowhere, striker Ally Young, popped up to open the scoring.

From a whipped in corner by Kelso, Young soared majestically to glance a wicked header into the net to give the visitors the lead at half time.

If the first half was subdued the second half really exploded into action. Ballysillan came out all guns blazing and the equalised within minutes of the restart.

The Swfits shot gave Forrest no chance and within minutes they had taken the lead, this time from a free kick which sailed over everyone’s head and into the roof of the net. Over the last few weeks the RBL have not been use to being behind and they responded well.

Lone striker McMenemey levelled the scores with his vulture like instincts. Picking up the ball he hit a low hard cross into the goal to level matters. Then Campbell put the RBL into the lead.

A shot by Young came off the post and there was the cool Campbell to bury the ball into the net. Still Ballysillan pushed forward and again levelled the scores.

Confusion between Allen and Chesney allowed a Ballysillan forward to step in and push the ball past Forrest to level the scores much to the delight of the home supporters.

Both teams were pushing for a winner and with only 10 minutes left super striker Young got his second.

With some delightful inter play between Kelso, McMenemey and Ricky McPartland they managed a great cross into the box and there was Young to put the RBL into the lead again.

Just when you thought the hearts of the Swifts had been broken they dusted thenselves down and with only moments left they got their equaliser.

From a corner the RBL cleared and all pushed out, the ball was whipped in quick and the backline of the RBL called for offside but to the dismay of the defence the referee never gave it and the Swifts centre half from all of two yards put the ball into the net. The match finished 4-4, probably a fair result for both teams.

This Saturday, RBL entertain Ballyclare Northend at the Fairhill, 2pm.