McWhirter goal gives glorious win at Glenanne

Greg Allen gets on the ball.
Greg Allen gets on the ball.

Cookstown snatched a goal in the dying minutes to stun Dubliners Glenanne and grab all three points on the road in the EY Hockey League.

The result puts the Reds level on points with Annadale, albeit at the wrong end of the table, after the Carryduff men squeaked to a draw at home against Cork.

It sets up two big games between the Ulster rivals in the next couple of weeks in the battle to avoid the bottom rung of the table.

This was Cookstown’s second win of the campaign both of which have come against Glenanne.

After an inauspicious start which saw them lose their first three games, Glenanne had been riding high in the league thanks, in the main, to the goals of South African import Shannon Boucher.

However, Cookstown were approaching their full compliment of players for the almost first time this season and it showed, though former international Keith Black was missing.

Glenanne started the match full of confidence and had a couple of chances including one from Sam O’Connor, but for the most part Ian Hughes was equal to everything that was thrown at him.

Cookstown went ahead through Greg Allen after the Reds fluffed a short corner routine but still managed to recover for the striker to finish with a dipping shot.

Boucher then took advantage of a defensive mistake by Cookstown, slotting the ball into the bottom corner of his reverse.

Hughes kept the teams level with more incredible work in goal before Ryan Millar gave the Reds a 2-1 lead following a killer move involving Ewan Butler and Allen which opened up the home team’s back four.

Joe Brennan then got the Glens back into the game going into the final quarter when he slotted home with a diving deflection to restore parity from a penalty corner.

All the pressure from Glenanne yielded no reward with both teams deadlocked heading into the final quarter.

With six minutes remaining and Glenanne going through the gears for the win, it was Cookstown who claimed the points when Andrew McWhirter swivelled smartly and delivered a crisp reverse stick shot past Lukasz Domachowski in the Glenanne goal.

Cookstown: Ian Hughes, Matty Rollins, Godfrey Irwin, Ewan Butler, Paul Thompson, Stuart Smyth, Simon Todd, Jon Ames, Andy McWhirter, Mark Crooks, Greg Allen, Dan Crooks, Ryan Millar, Timmy Sloan, Andy Barbour.