Freak goal gives Cookstown U11 win

Cookstown Colts U11 with their coaches
Cookstown Colts U11 with their coaches
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COOKSTOWN COLTS U11 2

LURGAN TOWN PREDATORS 2

Cookstown Youth Colts played host to Lurgan Town Predators on Saturday morning with the visitors travelling in confident mood, having been narrowly beaten the week before by the league leaders Cookstown.

The home team themselves have recently put in some improved performances but there was no doubt that they went into this game the heavy underdogs.

However, Cookstown did not let this tag affect them. They started the game brightly pushing the ball into the Lurgan half, pressuring the Lurgan defence and giving the visitors no time.

As early as the second minute a good ball from captain Charlie Dingley was taken down by Darragh McAleer, the ball bounced between him and two Lurgan defenders and fell to the onrushing Nathan Ferguson who caught the ball on the half volley and rifled it into the top left hand corner. A great start for the home team and nothing more than they deserved.

Cookstown kept pushing and forcing their opponents into their own half. Good work down the left from the McElkennon brothers, Luke and Jude, released Jude who had a clear pathway to goal, but he chose to shoot with the Lurgan keeper saving comfortably.

Lurgan then started to come into the game and they pegged Cookstown into their half. A solid back three of Rory Devlin, Conall Sheehy and Luke McElkennon resisted all efforts from the visitors.

On the 20th minute this resistance was broken with the visitors working the ball well down the right and after a few ricochets the Lurgan forward found the ball at his feet with the goal at his mercy and he Cooley slotted the ball past Kuba in the Cookstown goal.

Shortly after Lurgan Town pressed forward again, and with the first bit of sloppy play from Cookstown, they were presented a chance on goal which they gratefully took.

This then began a passage of sustained pressure on the Cookstown goal and only for an amazing goal line clearance from Rory Devlin the Cookstown Colts would have been going into half time 1-3 down. Instead they headed into the break 1-2 down and this bit of inspiring play seemed to lift the players and give them belief.

A confident Cookstown team took to the field in the second half full of belief and they pushed the visitors from the off. James Bell and Matej Kluka were creating numerous problems for the visitors with their runs in behind and constant pressure on the ball.

With the Cookstown defence holding strong they were just hoping for that one chance to be taken. On the 40th minute mark the ball fell to captain Charley Dingley in his own half and he unleashed a huge clearance up the pitch which went at some pace and caught the Lurgan keeper by surprise. The ball took one bounce and went over the keeper’s head and gave the home team the equalizer they deserved.

Both teams pushed for a winner in the last 10 minutes but both defences held strong with the game ending in a 2-2 draw with Cookstown believing they had done enough to shade the game.

This was one of Cookstown Colts’ best performances of the season which is just reward for the hard effort and commitment they have been showing from the Christmas break.

Cookstown: Kuba, Rory Devlin, Conall Sheehy, Luke McElkennon, Charlie Dingley (C), Nathan Ferguson, Jude McElkennon, Darragh McAleer, Kealan Moore, James Bell, Matej Kluka, Mark Cuddy, Colum Donaghy.

Man of the Match: Rory Devlin

COOKSTOWN U12 3

GLENAVON 1

This week the CYFC u12 National League team - who are on a 15-match unbeaten streak - had a quarter final cup tie against Glenavon.

Cookstown started off pushing Glenavon into their own half restricting their passing type of play. The Tyrone team struck with Brandon Hamilton hammering a right foot shot from 25 yards into the top corner.

This give the Cookstown side a real boost and extra edge as they pushed on to get a second before half time. The ball broke kindly to Shaun O’Hare to side foot the ball into the net for 2-0.

The second half started with a formation change for Glenavon which looked to be more attacking in the sense that they created a few early chances. Ben Purvis pulled off some brilliant saves.

However, the big centre forward from Glenavon got them a goal back which left the game in the balance.

Cookstown never gave in and stood firm, defending multiple attacks. Changes were made and additions were made to the Cookstown attack which lead to a third goal with a lovely through ball from Michael Forbes to the feet of Shea O’Hare who side footed it past the Glenavon keeper

This was a brilliant standard of football played by two top youth teams. A semi final now awaits Cookstown Youth.

Cookstown: Ben Purvis, Brandon Hamilton, Blaine Ryan, Niall O’Donnell, Callum Devlin, Stephen Donnelly, Michael Forbes, Matthew Hurl, Matthew Conlon, Sean O’Hare, Shea O’Hare. Subs: Ross Ferguson, Matthew McCann, James Devlin, Daniel McNally, Thomas Armstrong