Rugby: Cookstown take a share of the spoils

Cookstown Rugby Club's Ciaran Currie in action. Pic: Daron Patterson
Cookstown Rugby Club's Ciaran Currie in action. Pic: Daron Patterson

Portadown V 9-9 Cookstown

It finished honours even at Chambers Park on Saturday as Cookstown had another tough away fixture against the league leaders Portadown.

As has been the case so often this season, Cookstown got off to a slow start with Portadown dominating the opening proceedings.

They were rewarded with the first points of the contest with a straightforward penalty in front of the posts putting them into an early lead.

Cookstown were soon into their stride though with Ciaran Currie pinning the Portadown men in their own 22 with Paul O’Neill deservedly levelling matters with a penalty and that is how the scores remained at the half time whistle.

The second half followed the pattern of the first half with both teams struggling to create any clear cut try scoring opportunities.

Cookstown were starting to give away an increasing number of penalties and when the inevitable yellow card arrived, they then lost their captain Kezzy Nugent to another yellow card just a few minutes later.

Down to 13 men Cookstown were under pressure but led by Owen Mallon, Marty Boone and Kyle Campton, they were able to keep Portadown at bay during this period.

In fact Cookstown drew level with a penalty from Paul O’Neill and when they went back to the full complement, they took the lead through another penalty.

However, they could not hold on and Portadown levelled matters with the final whistle sounding soon after.

Director of Rugby Liam Currie commented after: “This was a typical see-saw game in challenging underfoot conditions.

“Our defence was brilliant and we worked hard to get into attacking positions but indiscipline repeatedly let Portadown off the hook.

“When we went 9-6 in front it was about holding out but again the penalty count was against us allowing Portadown to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat.”