Cookstown recovered from disappointing results against Lisnagarvey and Pembroke Wanderers with a big win over strugglers Kilkeel at Steelweld Park on Saturday.
The Reds, and Greg Allen in particular, showed their early intentions when, with only two minutes on the clock Allen’s reverse snapshot bounced off the post.
Cookstown played some brilliant hockey throughout this game and Kilkeel simply had no answer to the tempo, intensity and speed of thought being applied by all the Reds squad.
Mark Crooks made a great run into the circle and got his shot away which beat the keeper and was allowed to cross the goal-line by Allen, who could have helped himself to a simple tap-in.
Cookstown’s pressure resulted in penalty corners in abundance and Allen opened his account with a well placed drag.
The visiting keeper then kept his side in the game with good saves from Barbour and Smyth before he was beaten again by an Allen reverse.
A turnover deep in Cookstown’s defence gifted the ball to Kilkeel and a cross into the circle was deflected past Hughes to bring Kilkeel back into the game.
Any hopes the visitors harboured were shortlived, however, when Allen completed his hat-trick from another penalty corner.
Jon Ames completed the scoring in the first half when he roofed a reverse after the keeper had saved from another penalty corner.
Unlike previous weeks, Cookstown maintained their intensity throughout the second half and played some great hockey with everyone’s passing accurate and crisp. Itreally was good to watch.
Early in the second half the Reds were awarded a penalty stroke when another short corner effort hit a defender on the goal-line. Allen notched up his fourth goal of the game when he converted the stroke.
Ames grabbed his second when he netted from a penalty corner variation and the hard working Raymond Miller finally found the net after good work from Stuart Smyth.
So a great performance from Cookstown who played attractive attacking hockey with everyone shipping in and playing their part.
The Reds will look to continue this form when they entertain Raphoe at Steelweld Park this coming Saturday with a 3.30pm start.
This will be their last match of 2013 and will take the team into the Christmas break.