Rugby: Cookstown secure first victory of the season

Try time as Kazzy Nugent crashes over the line for Cookstown. Pic: Daron Patterson
Try time as Kazzy Nugent crashes over the line for Cookstown. Pic: Daron Patterson

Cookstown 20-11 Ballynahinch -

Cookstown got back to winning ways on Saturday with a hard fought win over Ballynahinch in their first home game of the season at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena.

Ballynahinch were quickly into their stride and were first on the scoreboard with a straightforward penalty.

Cookstown responded with some excellent rugby and it was rewarded with a try from Tomas Mauricas who scored his first for the club.

Ballynahinch had the final say of the half when they scored a penalty in front of the posts with the final kick of the half leaving the score 7-6 to the home side at the mid-way point.

Ballynahinch again started the second half brightly and scored their first and only try of the contest.

From here on, Cookstown dominated the game with ‘Hinch becoming indisciplined in their approach with offsides and high tackles becoming the theme of their defence.

Paul O’Neill was successful with two of these penalties which put Cookstown into the narrowest of leads.

Following another sustained period of pressure in the ‘Hinch 22, Kezzy Nugent was on the end of things to finish the try off with two minutes to go.

This ensured he secured his first victory as captain as well as taking the lead in the top try scorer leaderboard.

Director of Rugby Liam Currie commented after the game: “This was a great result for the boys and just what we needed coming off the back of two straight defeats.

“We employed a simple game plan and we were methodical in creating scoring opportunities and forcing Ballynahinch to chase the game.

“Given that we reached the McCambley Cup final last year, teams are fielding very strong sides against us but the boys showed they are up to the challenge.”

Cookstown Rugby would like to thank Enhance Sliding Wardrobes for their sponsorship of the game. Thanks also to Daron Patterson for the photographs on the day and to the Dunleath Bar who hosted the post-match refreshments.