North Down Ladies 4 Cookstown Ladies 3
Following last weeks vital point against the odds, Cookstown knew that a win on Saturday would secure their position in Senior one. Unfortunately for Cookstown an inform North down keeper has left them joint bottom in the league with all to play for in the remaining three matches.
The Reds started the much more nervous of the two teams and North down took full advantage of this. A defensive error in the first five minutes against the run of play gave North Down an easy goal and Cookstown really struggled to lift their heads.
North Down quickly made it 2-0 via a short corner and 15 minutes in and Cookstown found themselves 3-0 down when a direct shot beat Beth Williamson at her near post. This finally lifted Cookstown and they started to play their own hockey, destroying North Down’s defence, except their keeper!
Cookstown’s own defence played with much more composure with strong tackles and strength on the ball.
With 10 minutes left some great play by Leanne Johnston on the left found Laura McAleece who calmy slotted the ball past a diving keeper, 3-1 and Cookstown were back in the game. Cookstown quickly made it 3-2 via a beautiful ball by Gail Brown finding Leanne Johnston on the left. Leanne showed great composure in holding up the play to deliver a perfect pass to Ruth Brown who showed determination in beating two defenders and the goalkeeper.
At half time Cookstown knew that this game was within the reach as they were playing the better hockey and maintaining pocession really well.
Cookstown dominated the second half and some excellent work by Laura Gillespie in midfield kept North Down on their toes. Cookstown won several short corners but again North Down’s keeper denied every shot of becoming a goal.
A controversial penalty corner left Gail Brown injured and North Down with another corner and a unsettled Cookstown defence were unlucky and North down advanced to 4-2. However Cookstown piled on the pressure and with two minutes remaining Emma Carson calmly slotted the ball pass North Down’s keeper at a penalty corner.
Unfortunately it was too late for Cookstown and they now are sitting uncomfortably in the league with three matches remaining.
The Ladies are away to Priorians this week. Cookstown previously beat Priorians but need to play with the conviction and confidence for the whole 70 minutes if they want the points again.
Cookstown: Beth Williamson, Gail Brown, Melanie Johnston, Megan Sloan, Emma Carson, Laura Gillespie, Ruth Brown, Erin Harpur, Clare Brown, Laura McAleece, Leanne Johnston, Paula Black.