COOKSTOWN High School First XI girls faced a very strong Royal School Armagh team in the semi-final of the Senior Schools Shield.
The girls knew they had a tough game ahead of them with the Armagh team having a number of Ulster players. In the first 10 minutes the girls worked hard, playing it out from the back and making some strong runs down the right with Amy Parke and Jackie Burns linking well.
The Armagh defence were strong in midfield and were breaking down Cookstown’s play. Armagh made some mazy runs down the centre which Rachel Millar and Alex Scott dealt with comfortably. The tempo of the game started to rise with most of the possession taking place in the centre half.
Cara Sloan had a superb game in midfield making several interceptions and strong tackles. With five minutes before the half time whistle Armagh played a long pass to their forward line who left the Cookstown defence exposed and made the score 1-0.
After the half time Cookstown again went out strong with a few runs by Erin Harpur causing Armagh a few problems; however Armagh remained strong and this paid off as they scored on another quick run.
Cookstown lost momentum for a time which saw Armagh have several chances but an on form Kayleigh Hodgett kept the scoreline as it was, making several spectacular saves. It was not to be despite putting pressure on the Armagh girls in the last five minutes after Charlene Scott took posession and made a speedy run down the line for her shot to be saved by the keeper, whilst a penalty corner from Jackie Burns and a reverse shot from Kerri Scott both went wide.
The Cookstown girls should be pleased with their progress this year, despite losing out in the shield they have made great progress and it was a great achievement to make it to the semi finals. The girls have one more final left in the West of Ulster League Final. Good luck to the girls in this final.
Cookstown: K. Hodgett, A. Scott, A. Parke (c), R. Miller, C. Cowden, J. Burns, K. Scott, C. Sloan, E. McFarland, E. Harpur, C. Scott, D. Hamilton, J. Scott, S. Watt, L. Somerville.