Greer grabs brace as Thirds victorious

Cookstown III 7 NICS III 3

AH Fuel Oils Cookstown III entertained relegation threatened Civil Service at Coolnafranky on Saturday last.

After a great second half performance the weekend before, Cookstown were confident of victory. However the notoriously slow starting Reds again took some time to get into the game.

Sweeper Hagan was getting caught on the ball and there was far too much space between the lines to play any decent hockey.

Despite this Cookstown opened the scoring from their first flowing move of the match, McCallen finishing well after some great work from Donaldson. This lead only lasted a matter of minutes before NICS equalised from a short corner.

Cookstown were warming to the task at this stage and following a great run ball from Ali Thom, Stephen Stewart broke several tackles before firing home from a tight angle to send the reds into half time 2-1 ahead.

The second half began as the first half left off, with Cookstown in control. Greer put the Reds further ahead before McGaw scored with his first touch of the ball after arriving late.

NICS had developed a blitz style of play at this stage and pulled a goal back when a player got the final touch to a crash ball. The reds knew if they passed the ball quickly they would catch NICS out of position and Morrow scored the goal of the game sending a blistering shot past the Service keeper.

There was still time for Greer and Morrow to get there second goals of the day and Service to get their third. The result leaves Cookstown comfortably in the top half of the table with no promotion or relegation worries.

Cookstown III: A Henry, M Millar, I Hagan, Ali Thom, G Thom, J McCallen, G Donaldson, P Morrow, M Greer, M Smyth, P Watt, S Stewart, T Sloan & R McGaw (c).

AH Fuel Oils Man of the Match: Gavin Donaldson

Annadale II 3 Cookstown II 1

Cookstown and Annadale played out an entertaining match at Lough Moss on Saturday ahead of their Irish Junior Cup match-ups against Dublin YMCA and Pembroke Wanderers respectively.

Annadale controlled territory throughout the game, but Cookstown had more of the ball, with most of the action happening in the middle of the park.

The Reds travelled without several senior names, but with Davey Atkinson, Andy McWhirter and Dicky Nelson were in great form defensively and cut down a number of promising Annadale moves.

The away team took the lead earlier in the second half when Graeme Black finished a good Cookstown move down the right hand side.

Unfortunately, their lead did not last long when a good move down the right led to a goal past the excellent Michael Anderson. With fifteen minutes remaining, Annadale took the lead when a long ball out of the defence was deflected toward Butler, who mistrapped the ball, allowing a forward to rush in and score.

Cookstown continued to push but a broken down long corner caught the Reds flat-footed and an Annadale forward was able to nip in at the back post to make it 3-1.

All was not lost for Cookstown, however, as the Reds showed their mettle, winning a penalty corner competition by 4-1 with Anderson saving three of Annadale’s attempts. Moral victory...oh yeh.

Cookstown II: Michael Anderson, David Atkinson, Gavin Butler, Andrew Ferguson, Mark Wilson, Tony Johnston, Andrew McWhirter, Mark Rooney, Richard Nelson, Andrew Smyth, Ian Johnston and Graeme Black

AH Fuels Man of the Match: David Atkinson

Many thanks to Stevie Hamilton for umpiring.