Hockey: Cookstown edge win in Annadale showdown

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White / PressEye
Men's Hockey: Premier
Teams: Annadale (white) v Cookstown (red)
Venue: Lough Moss
Date: 3rd January 2015
Caption: Jon Ames, Cookstown
Mandatory Credit: Rowland White / PressEye Men's Hockey: Premier Teams: Annadale (white) v Cookstown (red) Venue: Lough Moss Date: 3rd January 2015 Caption: Jon Ames, Cookstown
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Jon Ames’ 48th minute winner has given Cookstown a huge boost in their bid to avoid the drop from the EY Hockey League.

The victory makes it two wins in succession for the Tyrone men, moving them three points above Annadale.

The two teams will cross swords again at Carryduff this Saturday in a match which was postponed due to frost at the Lough Moss pitch earlier in the season.

Cookstown will be further strengthened with the return of Keith Black and Ewan Butler to the squad after they missed the Steelweld Park encounter.

After a quiet first quarter with both teams tentative going forward, Cookstown burst into life 30 seconds into the second quarter. Captain Mark Crooks opened the scoring following smashing work from Paul Thompson down the right hand side which opened up the Annadale defence. Timmy Sloan crashed the ball goalwards only to see Johnny Moore make the initial save. The Dale shotstopper was, however, unable to stop Crooks tapping the ball over the line for 1-0.

The remainder of the half was played amid a colossal midfield battle between the two 23m lines with neither side really getting the upper hand. The only incident of note occurred when David Smyth was sent to the sin-bin for a mistimed tackles on Ames just before the half-time whistle.

Despite being down to ten men Annadale made some early raids as the third quarter started, winning a corner that was brilliantly defended by Ames. A Cookstown break, meanwhile, won a corner for the Reds which Moore did well to keep out from a Ryan Millar flick.

It left the tie poised at 1-0 going into the final quarter. The defining moment of the match came as Cookstown moved to take the push back. Michael Robson’s temper seemed to get the better of him and he was shown a yellow card for dissent.

Again a man down, Dale nevertheless won a corner which Australian Robbie McGuire deflected home from Matthew Allister’s low pass.

Parity lasted barely a minute, however, as Cookstown’s increased efforts saw them win a corner of their own. Ames scored to make it 2-1 after Greg Allen picked out his run.

Cookstown won another short corner thanks to great skills from Stuart Smyth down the left, but Annadale defended well to see off the danger. However, it did not matter in the final assessment.

The win lifts Cookstown to nine points, three points shy of eighth place Cork and three ahead of bottom of the pile Annadale.

Cookstown: Ian Hughes, Timmy Sloan, Andrew Barbour, Simon Todd, Godfrey Irwin, Cole Chambers, Greg Allen, Andy McWhirter, Ryan Millar, Mark Crooks, Jon Ames, Stuart Smyth, Dan Crooks, and Matty Rollins

Solo Fuels Man of the Match: Jon Ames