Ruthless Lisnagarvey ruin Reds’ start to campaign

SHOT... Cookstown's Johnny Ames fires at goal during Saturday nights clash with Holcombe in the annual Nigel Cheevers Memorial Tournament.INMM3713-358SR
SHOT... Cookstown's Johnny Ames fires at goal during Saturday nights clash with Holcombe in the annual Nigel Cheevers Memorial Tournament.INMM3713-358SR

Cookstown came up short against a well organised and ruthless Lisnagarvey in their first Ulster Premier League test of the new season.

The Reds started the stronger and with Jon Ames leading the line up front there seemed a better shape to the team than in recent weeks.

Cookstown won their first penalty corner five minutes into the game after a good bit of skill from Raymond Miller but the resulting effort was off target from Butler.

Simon Todd was looking after dangerman Raphael but still had time to combine well with Keith Black to set up a few good attacks for the visitors. Garvey, as expected, slowly began to take a grip of the game and, from their first circle penetration, they took the lead.

A fluffed cross from Lynch boppled across the Cookstown circle and was tapped in at the back post by Williamson.

At this stage the scoreline didn’t truly reflect Cookstown’s superiority as they were the better team, despite not creating clear-cut chances.

The second half began with the Cookstown support looking for their team to continue bossing things but disaster struck early in the second half.

With the Reds’ defence playing the ball around the back Timmy Cockram intercepted and beat Hughes with a fizzer of a reverse.

Cookstown reduced the deficit late in the half when Mark Crooks weaved along the by-line to score from an almost impossible angle.

There was a swift reply from Garvey when Cockram again scored and right on the final whistle he notched his hat-trick beating Hughes from a penalty corner to put the gloss on the victory.

The Reds will want to secure some points this Saturday when they travel to newly promoted Raphoe.

Cookstown: Ian Hughes, Andy McWhirter, David Best, Matty Rollins, Ewan Butler, Keith Black, Raymond Miller, Ryan Millar, Simon Todd, Jon Ames, Andy Barbour, Gareth Cuddy, Mark Rooney, Andy Smyth, Mark Crooks, Paul Thompson.