Carrickmore 0-11 Cookstown 0-6
Carmen were much the better side in the opening half but almost let victory slip from their grasp as a mini-revival from Cookstown in the second period saw them draw within two points of Brian Gormley’s charges but that was to be as close as they would get.
In spite of having substitute Gabrial McCallan shown a straight red card a matter of seconds after he was introduced, Carrickmore dug deep led by the experience of Colm McGurk and Conor Gormley to prove deserved winners.
Cookstown really struggled to get into the game in the opening 15 minutes as Carrickmore dominated proceedings though they failed to make that supremacy show on the scoreboard.
The St Colmcilles opened the scoring in the second minute through midfielder Niall Loughran but then proceeded to waste a number of fine chances kicking four wides before their next point.
Cookstown could well have netted against the run of play as Christopher Eastwood’s goal chance was brilliantly saved by veteran shotstopper Plunkett McCallan.
At the other end Carrickmore’s superior pace and hunger was beginning to show as wingback Michael Donaghy showed his forwards how to score with a brilliant effort from 40 metres.
Carmen suffered a big blow when midfielder Ronan McNally, who had started brightly, injured his hamstring. But it mattered little as they finally found their range.
Mark Donnelly pointed a free, although Carrickmore were upset with referee Sean Hurson that he hadn’t allowed play to continue with Martin Penrose in on goal, before Michael Gallagher and Michael McCallan both scored from play.
Cookstown were now adrift and things got worse as Donaghy struck his second of the night this time from a long range free, the former county minor star back to his best after a couple of injury plagued seasons.
The Fr Rocks were in trouble and they began to ring the changes with John Gilmore and David Hughes both introduced.
The changes worked with Owen Mulligan pointing a free after a foul on Shea McGarrity.
McGarrity was involved again moments later to get Cookstown’s second point, taking a Raymond Mulgrew past before fisting over.
Carrickmore respnded well to settle before half time and Michael McCallan score his second point an excellent effort from play after good work in the build-up.
If the first half was Carrickmore’s then the opening exchanges of the second half were Cookstown’s.
Pól McAleer did fist a Carmen point in the opening minute but Cookstown began to work up a head of steam as they rattled off the next four scores.
Raymond Mulgrew got the first point before an Owen Mulligan point gave Fr Rocks some hope of a comeback.When Gilmore andMulgrew pointed again suddenly Carrickmore where in trouble.
Things went from bad to worse as substitute Gabrial McCallan saw red but if anything this set back inspired the St Colmcilles.
They got a Michael McCallan point from a quick free which Cookstown were upset about.
Points for Martin Penrose and Mark Donnelly drew Carmen clear and into a quarter final clash with Coalisland.
Carrickmore: Plunkett McCallan, Ronan Mullan, Colm McGurk, Conor Mullan, Michael Donaghy, Conor Gormley, Ruairi O’Loughran, Ronan McNally, Niall Loughran, Michael McCallan, Mark Donnelly, Michael Gallagher, Pol McAleer, Martin Penrose, Barry Daly
Subs: James Rafferty for R. McNally, Gabrial McCallan for Gallagher, Paul Hughes for Loughran, Aidan Kelly for M McCallan, Kevin McNally for P McAleer
Scorers: Michael McCallan 0-3 Michael Donaghy 0-2, Mark Donnelly 0-2, Niall Loughran 0-1, Michael Gallagher 0-1, Pol McAleer 0-1, Martin Penrose 0-1
Cookstown: Marty Rea, Mark O’Connor, Paul McGurk, Marty Murray, Connor Mullan, Raymond Mulgrew 0-2, Shea McGarrity 0-1 Marty Hughes, Barry Hughes, Brian Mulligan, Christopher Eastwood, Owen Mulligan, Jason Quinn, Conor O’Hare, Ryan Pickering
Subs: David Hughes for O’Hare, John Gilmore 0-1 for M. Hughes, James McGahan for Eastwood, Barry Mulligan for Quinn, Ruairi Mullan for Brian Mulligan
Scorers: Owen Mulligan 0-2, Raymond Mulgrew 0-2, Shea McGarrity 0-1, John Gilmore 0-1