Hockey: Cookstown target Lisnagarvey escape in IHL

BREAK... Cookstown's Mark Crooks breaks forward during last Saturday's league clash with Lisnagarvey at Steelweld Park.INMM5013-357SR
BREAK... Cookstown's Mark Crooks breaks forward during last Saturday's league clash with Lisnagarvey at Steelweld Park.INMM5013-357SR
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COOKSTOWN 5 INSTONIANS 2

It would take a calculator to work out the qualification permutations in Pool A, as any two of four teams can still reach the play-offs.

Cookstown hauled themselves into contention, after they defeated Instonians 5-2.

Goals from Andrew Barbour, Raymond Millar and Simon Todd gave the Reds a commanding lead before James Corry reduced the deficit when he ran unmarked into the Cookstown circle to place the ball past Ian Hughes in goal.

Cookstown threatened on numerous occasions before Stuart Smyth extended their lead.

Inst replied with an own goal making score 4-2 before a further goal from Smyth guaranteed the win for Cookstown.

Two second half goals from Stuart Smyth secured the important win and now a win at Lisnagarvey next week could secure a place in the last four.

Cookstown II’s dream of winning their third Irish Junior Cup title ended as Irish Junior Cup holders, Monkstown II, trounced Cookstown 4-0 to end Ulster interest in the competition.

The Reds were actually the better of the two teams in the opening exchanges and on four occasions forced the excellent Monkstown goalkeeper into saves.

On ten minutes the Dubliners took the lead through Cole who pounced on a reverse cross to brilliantly deflect home.

Thereafter the Dubliners were in control and, though Cookstown felt aggrieved at some decisions, were much the better of the two teams.

They took a 2-0 lead through Dutton from their third penalty corner in short succession, and just short of half time, they extended this lead to three when Alec Barrett prodded home from close range.

Cookstown took the game to Monkstown in the second half but were unable to make any headway with the Dubliners using the aerial route to great effect.

With fifteen minutes gone in the second half they struck the killer blow with a well worked goal by Beirne to kill off any Cookstown fightback.

In the other semi-final, Pembroke were too strong for Cork and took a 5-0 win.