Cookstown II lost for the first time this season to a talented Lisnagarvey team at Steelweld Park.
Some superb last ditch tackling by Ian Hutchinson kept the Hillsborough men at bay but only briefly as the visitors were soon able to pounce upon Cookstown mistakes and force a series of short corners. The pressure soon told, and Garvey took the lead.
Cookstown did have a few forays into the Lisnagarvey area and forced the Garvey keeper into a number of saves, but they couldn’t quite find a finish against a team including Mark Raphael, Greg Thompson, John Gray, and Mark Robinson. Soon the league leaders, Lisnagarvey, took a two-goal lead.
The Reds continued to push and a long ball from Hutchinson picked out the energetic Mark Simpson at the top of the circle, and he finished with a vicious hit past the Garvey keeper.
Despite significant pressure from Lisnagarvey, Cookstown did have some good periods in the second half, but lack of numbers, and a couple of injuries, soon told against the 15-strong squad, and Lisnagarvey forced home another goal. The Blues extended their lead midway through the half and held on to record a 4-1 win.
Many thanks to Stephen Hamilton for umpiring this match.
Solo Fuels Man of the Match: Mark Simpson
COOKSTOWN III 5
BANGOR III 0
In the fourth league game of the season, Cookstown III hosted Bangor III at Steelweld Park on a floodlit Friday night.
Cookstown started the game slowly with Bangor creating the better chances, Davy Atkinson put the Reds 1-0 up through a short corner, but Cookstown still couldn’t find their feet in the game.
After stern words at half time, Cookstown came out ready to improve on the poor first half, a series of penalty corners brought the Reds two more goals through Steven Stewart and Paul Morrow.
Again, keeper Gillis was in great form, marshalled expertly by the defence of Mark Wilson and Gavin Donaldson. The red hot Paul Watt got himself on the score sheet with a well-placed finish into the bottom corner after good work by Ryan Donaldson, but Watt’s second goal was the pick of the bunch, picking up the ball on his reverse and firing high into the Bangor goal.
Solo Fuels Man of the match: Mark Wilson
LISNAGARVEY V 1
COOKSTOWN IV 2
Plenty of Irish internationals were on show in this tight encounter with Reds edging out the Blues.
Garvey’s early pressure paid of and they drew first blood converting a broken down short corner.
The game was far from one sided with the Reds being particularly dangerous on the counter attack. It was on one of these counter attacks that Richard McGaw slapped the ball home.
Keeper Adam Henry saved a stroke to inspire the Reds and a short corner strike was only partially cleared with Michael Kerr first to pounce.
The second half was a more controlled affair with Cookstown going for possession rather than counter attacking style of the first half. Thom tested the keeper twice and Kerr came close with a drag flick but both teams defences were on form for the remainder of the game keeping the score at 2-1.
Thanks to Garvey for providing umpires.
Solo Fuels Man of the Match: Brian Simpson