Cookstown maintain winning form

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Omagh RFC 12 Cookstown RFC 40

ON Saturday 15 October Cookstown RFC played their first away game of the season when they made the trip west to face fellow Tyrone club Omagh Accies. The game kicked off in muddy underfoot conditions with Cookstown playing down hill.

Cookstown adapted to the conditions quickly with outhalf Ciaran Currie using his boot to pin Omagh back and set up good attacking positions in their 22. The first score of the day came following good lineout pressure from lock Adam Stinson which forced the Omagh scrum half to take contact. Fine counter rucking from loosehead Richard Brown turned over the ball. With the Omagh defence sucked in, the ball was sent out to Ciaran Currie who pinpointed a crossfield kick for winger Conor Harte to gather and score in the corner.

Good pressure from Richard Brown in the scrum prevented Omagh from clearing their lines. However a loose fist in the ensuing ruck saw Omagh penalised and Cookstown elected to kick to the corner. The ball was spun out from the resultant lineout to Ciaran Currie who was stopped just short of the line, however second rower Marty D was on hand to gather and dive over for the second try. Try converted.

As expected Omagh’s only attacking option was through their forward power. However the Cookstown pack were equal to the challenge a repelled a series of mauls. With the ball deemed unplayable, Omagh were awarded a scrum. A lack of communication in the Cookstown defence resulted in the Omagh number eight glide untouched across the try line for a converted try.

Another fine kick from Ciaran Currie saw Cookstown gain position in the Omagh 22. A fine run from Ciaran McKenna was thwarted by a dangerous tackle from an Omagh defender. The following lineout saw Cookstown go through a series of phases. A fine line from Marty D took him into space where an offload saw Thommo send the ball wide to the supporting Denver Nugent who scored in the corner.

Some poor decision making saw Omagh gain position in the Cookstown 22. A series of pick and go’s saw the home pack threaten the Cookstown line where a combination of errors allowed Omagh to drive over for an unconverted try. 12-19. Stand in Captain Liam Currie had a few choice words under the posts when he reminded the boys that Omagh were only in the game as a result of Cookstown errors and that these needed to be eradicated!

From the re-start some strong counter rucking from the busy Richard Brown forced Omagh to concede a penalty. From the resultant lineout the ball was taken flat to the Omagh defensive line where Ciaran Currie popped back inside to Thommo who was stopped just short of the line. A pick and go from Marty D saw him go over close to the posts. Try converted by Ciaran Currie to give Cookstown a 12-26 lead.

The second half was more of a one sided affair which saw Cookstown run at the Omagh defence at every opportunity. Great handling and aggressive running from brothers Kevin and Denver Nugent (Kenver) kept Omagh in their 22. With Ciaran McKenna reliable under the high ball and Ronan Campbell rock solid in the middle of the park, Omagh had no way out.

Following a short break from Stevie Rea the ball was flicked out to scrum half Daryl Donaghy who broke clear to set up Kezzy Nugent who scored under the posts. Ciaran Currie converted.

The final try of the day came as a result of more pressure from Cookstown and in particular centre Ronan Campbell who hunted down his opposite number and forced him to drop the ball. A skilful fly hack through the defence allowed Ronan to gather and score behind the posts. Ciaran Currie converted for a 12-40 victory for the away side.

This game featured a clash of two different styles of rugby. Omagh relied on ten man rugby in order to generate scores. Whilst Cookstown, although able to match Omagh up front, were always seeking to move the ball wide and use their devastating runners.

Man of the match was awarded to Marty D who continued his fantastic form with two well taken tries and a physical presence around the park. A special mention must also go the Cookstown faithful who stood in the mud and cheered their team for 80 minutes. The club would also like to express its thanks to club stalwart Daron Paterson for taking time out to travel to the game and photograph the boys.

Many thanks to Omagh Accies for their post game hospitality.