HOCKEY: Black hits brace as Reds get first points on board

Cookstown's Keith Black goes for goal.INMM4115-369
Cookstown's Keith Black goes for goal.INMM4115-369

Cookstown got their first EY League points of the season with a fantastic 5-1 victory over struggling Glenanne.

Keith Black hammered home two goals while Simon Todd and Jon Ames were simply fantastic in attack. At the other end Ian Hughes made a number of top class stops to keep the Dublin men out.

Both teams looked edgy in first quarter, making a number of silly mistakes to put their defences under pressure.

Glenanne had a good period in the middle of the quarter, doing everything right in attack without actually troubling Ian Hughes in the Cookstown goal.

With three minutes remaining Cookstown took the lead. Timmy Sloan showed great stick work in the right corner to win a free. Mark Crooks took it, picking out Keith Black’s run to the top of the circle and the Sandholes enforcer was able to poke it into the bottom right corner.

Glenanne started Q2 quickly and were aggrieved after the umpires waved away an early appeal for a PC. Nevertheless on 16 minutes Hughes had to be quick on his toes when Shannon Boucher got away a snap shot.

Todd twice opened up the Glenanne defence but the support was absent and both chances went without troubling Lukasz Domachowski in goal. Glenanne finished the half strong with Enda Tucker and Joe Brennan chances.

It was the home team who started the second half strongest with Todd winning and then taking charge of a penalty corner two minutes in. Unfortunately, his shot just slipped outside the post.

Todd then carried the ball the entire length of the pitch, outpacing the Glenanne defence before going down under pressure as he tried to get a shot away. While Cookstown appealed to the umpire Glenanne quickly moved the ball upfield to win their own penalty corner. Ian Hughes made the initial save, but could do nothing to keep the ball out of the net from a scuffle which saw Stuart Ronan tuck the ball home.

Ryan Millar and Boucher had chances at either end before Glenanne found themselves down to ten men when David Keogh received a green card. In his absence Cookstown re-established their lead when Jon Ames converted a great goal. He picked up the ball on the edge of the 25 and outpaced the midfield before lashing the ball into the bottom corner as he fell.

But for a period when a green card for Black left them down to ten men, the remainder of the game was all Cookstown.

A long flick by Paul Thompson picked out Timmy Sloan high up the pitch. He was able to pick out Mark Crooks whose shot was saved by Domachowski. Todd, however, tidied up, battering the ball past the Glens keeper to make it 3-1 with 48 minutes played.

Glenanne piled forward and Hughes was twice called into action, first by Tucker low to his left, and then Richard Shaw just seconds later.

Two goals down with five to play, Glenanne subbed Domachowski and threw on Richard Shaw as a kicking back. It immediately paid dividends when Laurin Hartwig was sent through on Hughes’ goal. The Cookstown keeper stood tall and saved again.

Two minutes later Cookstown made the game safe when Paul Thompson went down under the challenge of Keogh with the goal at his mercy. Kicking back Richard Shaw was unable to keep Black’s penalty flick out.

Cookstown got a fifth in the last minute. Richard Shaw seemed to have snuffed out another promising Cookstown attack with a superb tackle, but his pass upfield went askew leaving Crooks with a simple finish on the reverse.

Solo Fuels Man of the Match: Simon Todd