Cookstown 9 NICS 3
THE Reds recorded a comprehensive and comfortable victory over a disappointing NICS side that started the day in third spot. It took the home side only four minutes to open the scoring, with probably the best goal of the game. Timmy Smyth robbed a Service player at the half way line and set off at pace into the open space down Cookstown’s left side. He struck a great reverse cross across the Service circle where Mark Crooks controlled just outside the back post before squaring to Greg Allen who netted from close range.
Both Crooks and Allen were rewarded for making up the hard yardage to support Smyth. Just a few minutes later and the lead was doubled when Keith Black converted a penalty stroke after a Gareth Cuddy effort hit a defenders foot on the goal line.
Service just had nothing to trouble the Cookstown defence at this stage and defender Paul Thompson was next on the scorer’s list when he scored in a packed circle. The Reds still pushed forward and from a penalty corner Raymond Miller got the vital touch.
Mark Crooks then got in on the goal scoring act when he scored a brilliant individual effort, cracking home a great reverse strike. Just before half time the hard working Timmy Smyth scored a well deserved goal. So six up at half time with 6 different scorers.
It was business as usual soon into the second half when Greg Allen forced the ball over the line for his 16th goal of the season to put Cookstown seven up. The Reds then became sloppy and passes that had been accurate now were misplaced. Service, knowing that the game was beyond them threw caution to the wind and pushed forward. They were rewarded with three quick goals from Johnston, Allison and Barnes to leave the scoreline 7-3.
Cookstown eventually got their act together again and put Service under pressure. A crude stick tackle by a Service defender resulted in Black again scoring from the resulting penalty stroke. Just on the full time whistle Andy Barbour went around the keeper and forced the ball over the line to score Cookstown’s ninth goal.
This free scoring side have now netted 24 goals in their last three games as they make their way up the league table.