This was a drab affair that never really sparked into life at any stage.
A typical first game after a
2 week winter break with loose control and mis-placed passes the order for most of the day.
Keith Black at left back must have been instructed to do whatever he wanted and for the first couple of minutes occupied the opposition circle completely unmarked but could not be found by his team-mates.
Indeed it was Black who opened the scoring as he supported a good attacking move. His initial reverse effort hit a defender but the umpire played good advantage and when the ball was fed back to Black he crashed it high into the net with a strong side shot.
Civil Service then lost possession from a side line ball and Barbour found Crooks who slipped the ball inside for Gareth Cuddy to score with a sliding reverse.
At this stage the Reds defence were never troubled and were able to support attacks at will. The lead was further increased when Stephen Sloan got the final touch in a crowded circle to leave the halftime scoreline 0-3.
Cookstown, as expected, continued to dominate matters and Allen got his name on the scorecard with an exquisite, but cheeky, chopped sweep which sailed over the keeper’s head to nestle in the onion bag.
With the Reds defence wanting to support any attacking moves they were caught on the hop when three Service forwards raced towards Anderson in goal and scored with a well placed shot.
Cookstown netted again when Barbour found Butler and his pass into the circle was deflected home by Raymond Miller to leave the final score 1-5.
Cookstown face a tough test this coming Saturday when they entertain Instonians in the Premier League with a 2.30pm start at Steelweld Park.