Hockey: Cookstown ramp up scores in second half against Mossley

Dan Crooks spreads the play for Cookstown II. Picture by Alan Donnelly.
Dan Crooks spreads the play for Cookstown II. Picture by Alan Donnelly.

MOSSLEY II 3 COOKSTOWN II 8

Cookstown II produced another big win on the road to Mossley to keep up pressure on the Ulster Junior League One leaders, Annadale and Lisnagarvey.

And what a win it was! The Reds played some scintillating attacking hockey in the second half to force home seven goals against a team who have always been competitive opponents.

The first half was an even affair with Cookstown showing signs of their stop-start season. However, the Reds took the lead early; Gavin Butler burst forward from right-back, swapped a pass with Nelson in the Mossley 25’ before squaring to Mark Rooney to finish.

Cookstown continued to push and penetrated the Mossley circle on a number of occasions without really testing the home goalkeeper. In fact it was Mossley who converted due to a defensive mistake, though the finish was well taken by the Glade striker.

The second period was poised to be a corker. Cookstown reclaimed the lead just minutes in when a great run by Tony Johnston was rewarded by Mossley turning the ball into their own net. Another attack, this time down the left hand side, saw Richard Nelson work his way from the halfway to the bye-line. His cross found a Mossley foot rather than a Cookstown stick but the move still contrived to find its way into the net and make it 3-1.

Mossley were quickly handed a way back into the game from the short corner set piece and duly converted before another swiftly-crafted counterattack saw Butler pick out Andy McWhirter at the back post to make it 4-2. An Ian Hutchinson short corner increased the lead before Mark Rooney got his second - another sweeping end to end move - to put the game beyond Mossley.

Ten minutes later, Mark Crooks deflected home from close range after Butler found his way to the baseline and crossedto make it 7-2.

Paul Thompson got, arguably, the goal of the day. The move started in the defence before Tony Johnston got the ball into Godfrey Irwin who expertly steered the ball towards the back post where Thompson dramatically dived to direct the ball into the backboards and make it 8-2. The only slip up occurred five minutes before the end when Mossley claimed a consolation due to a blunder at the back.

Cookstown: Josh Anderson, Ian Hutchinson, Gavin Butler, Dan Crooks, Andy Ferguson, Tony Johnston, Godfrey Irwin, Thomas Hutchinson (c), Richard Nelson, Mark Rooney, Andy McWhirter, Mark Crooks and Paul Thompson.

Many thanks to Stevie Hamilton for umpiring this game.