Hockey: Cookstown II progress in Irish Junior Cup

Cookstown 5th XI goalkeeper Ashley Gillis makes a save during Saturday's home game. Pic: Alan Donnelly.

Cookstown 5th XI goalkeeper Ashley Gillis makes a save during Saturday's home game. Pic: Alan Donnelly.

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An outstanding second half defensive effort by Cookstown saw them surge past a strong Railway Union side and into an all-Ulster quarter-final against Annadale in the Irish Junior Cup.

This was the third time that the two sides had tried to play the fixture, but it was well worth the wait as the teams served up a superb match on Sunday afternoon.

Cookstown were without Mark Simpson and Ryan Johnston, but had Ewan Butler to deputise.

Cookstown came up with a series of short corners but were unable to find the break while Railway used their strong running midfield of Moore and Wong to good effect without threatening.

The Reds finally took the lead just into the second half when Callum Anderson’s short corner strike bounced up off Tom Fee’s pads and Timmy Sloan was on hand to turn the ball into the goal.

Better was to come from Cookstown when Ryan Donaldson got on the ball high in the Railway half. He passed his marker before lashing the ball into the top corner.

Railway came back almost immediately when Moore and Jeff Spillane combined down the left hand side for Peter Yates to finish with a low deflection past Anderson in the Cookstown goal.

A second green card for Cookstown heaped more pressure on the home side, but the Leinster men were not able to take advantage and paid the price when Butler’s long pass was expertly taken by Sloan and forced past Fee to make it 3-1.

Railway threw an extra man forward in search for a way back into the game, but Cookstown stood resolute and with five minutes remaining Butler put the game beyond the Dubliners.