On a wet and windy morning at the Sports Arena in Cookstown, Coleraine were the visitors in the U15 Knockout Cup.
The two had locked horns two weeks previously, with Coleraine coming out on top by a score of 2-0.
Cookstown were confident that revenge would be extracted given how easily they penetrated the Coleraine defence and had numerous attempts on target.
The wind was a torture on Saturday and it was instantly clear that little football was to be played by two teams who loved to do exactly that. Cookstown had the wind in the first half and were on the front foot all the time, with Arrell, Dingley, Rocks and Young coming close to breaking the deadlock.
The coaches had predicted this to be a 2 goal wind; it was that strong, so the longer the half went the more the coaches became anxious for an opener. It almost came after 25 minutes when a brilliant through ball by Arrell found the on rushing Dobson who took a touch and sent his lob just wide of the left post.
However, it wasn’t long before Cookstown got their rewards. A lovely touch from Keane set up Arrell who turned sharply and finished it brilliantly on the half volley into the top corner of the net.
A few half chances came and went but it was 1-0 at half time, possibly meaning Coleraine we the happier of the two teams. O’Hare, Larmour, Wilson and Donnelly were to be tested after the break, as was Ben Young, whose kicking and decision making was key to the eventual victory.
Everything Coleraine threw at Cookstown they defended well and confidently and almost doubled the lead when Dobson rolled his man on the edge of the box before placing just wide of the goal.
However, the sting came when the big substitute for Coleraine picked it up from 30 yards and, with the wind at his back, he unleashed a shot which flew into the top corner, giving Young no chance.
But if something was to give in this cup tie it was something out of player control. The sun came out and the wind died down and suddenly Cookstown were well on top and could have won the game on several occasions with Jake Young, Stevie Arrell and Ryan Rocks, who was having a superb game, narrowly missing the chances to go in front.
Matthew Kelly came on for Adam Keane and shortly after Cookstown got the winner. Ben Young’s kick found Dobson who played in Arrell and when he seen the keeper coming he perfectly weighted a lob into the back of the net for the winning goal.
Coleraine kept coming at Cookstown but they stood tall and won the game deservedly. Huge credit go to the players who played brilliantly despite the atrocious weather conditions, in particular to Ben Young whose kicking into the wind was as a good as it could have possibly been.
His distance gave the defence a breather from the constant pressure at times due to the wind.
Man of the match this week was Ryan Rocks who gave everything on a tough day for football. His ability to break up the play and distribute accordingly was a great sight. Well done Rocko!
COOKSTOWN U12 v DROMORE
Cookstown started the match brilliantly creating a great passing combination between midfield of Devlin, O’Neill and Donnelly.
The youth side showed there progression when they took the game to Dromore and scored a bag full of goals with Terry Devlin getting a hat trick and goals from Ben McNally, Eunan O’Neill and Paul Monaghan .
Dromore had a few breakthrough chances but for a solid backline on the day of Sean Monaghan, Caleb Robb and Joshua Turkington and the outstanding Matthew Gibson in nets who gave another great performance.
The Cookstown side travelled well on a miserable day to Portadown pitches and came away with another win and gave the coaching staff plenty of thought for positions with players being played in different roles due to injuries, but another great show of quality from the U12 side.
Man of match: Terry Devlin
CYFC: Matthew Gibson, Caleb Robb, Sean Monaghan, Joshua Turkington, Jake Donnelly, Dominic O’Neill, Terry Devlin, Eunan O’Neill, Ben McNally, Paul Monaghan
Our ever popular Development Centre continues at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena this Friday 31th January 2014. Coaching sessions will start at 6.30pm sharp , and players are asked to attend MUSA from 6pm to facilitate registration. The sessions will finish at 7.30pm.
The cost for the ten weeks is £25 to be paid on the first night , or £3 per night for the duration of this incoming Development Centre term.
CYFC is a cross community organisation , and all our coaches are IFA accredited and are all Child Protection trained.
We look forward to seeing you all back for another term , and also look forward to welcoming new faces. For further information please contact Andy Kelly on 07872901473.