Ulster Premier League
Cookstown 1 Lisnagarvey 1
The Reds’ Lisnagarvey hoodoo continued yet again last Saturday as Cookstown failed to get the win against their old foe.
The visitors were without their two most important and influencial players, Raphael and Cockram, and surely Cookstown will not have a better chance to beat them. However, as on previous meetings between the sides, Cookstown surrendered ground hoping to catch Garvey on the break.
Whenever the Reds had the ball their build up play was littered with bad basics and school-boy errors.
The visitors won their first penalty corner within the opening five minutes and Hughes had to make a double save the keep the sides level.
On one of the few occasions that Cookstown strung passes together Allen fed the overlapping Butler who lifted the ball over the keeper but also into the side netting.
Lisnagarvey’s leading marksman Thompson then made a surging run through the heart of the home defence but Hughes was alert to the danger and came out to smother the effort. Before the end of the half Cookstown won their first penalty corner which came to nothing.
The second half had barely started when Garvey opened their account. Cookstown thought they had won a side line ball however Garvey took it quickly and eventually found Buser who rounded Hughes to score with a reverse strike.
The match then deteriorated as each side gave the ball to each other and misplaced passes were the order of the day. With ten minutes to go Cookstown evenually began to boss the game and put Garvey under a spell of sustained pressure. Allen saw his deflected effort saved by Tormey as the Reds became camped in the visitors half.
Cookstown eventually levelled matters with a scrappy effort from Gareth Cuddy, but they all count.
Jon Ames had a glorious chance to win the game for Cookstown after a great run but if anything he hit his shot too well, the ball hitting the keeper rather then the keeper saving it.
So, perhaps Cookstown were lucky to get the draw. Stephen Sloan missed the game due to illness and a few of the players felt ill during the game which all had an impact on the result.
Cookstown continue their defence of the Premiership with a home game this Saturday against Kilkeel at 2.30pm.
Cookstown: Ian Hughes, Ewan Butler, Godfrey Irwin, David Best, Keith Black, Matty Rollins, Paul Thompson, Andy McWhirter, Jon Ames, Andy Barbour, Simon Todd, Andy McWhirter, Stuart Smyth, Greg Allen (c), Ryan Millar