Football: Cookstown U18 have big win over Bessbrook

CYFC U15's Ryan Rocks scores a screamer against Northend United on Saturday in the National League game at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena.
CYFC U15's Ryan Rocks scores a screamer against Northend United on Saturday in the National League game at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena.

Cookstown travelled to Meadowbank last Wednesday to play a league and cup double-header against a team who were flying high in the league.

Cookstown seem to play well against the so-called ‘better’ teams in the league and this was another example.

The end score line was a comfortable one, despite a strong wind influencing the game.

Early signs in the game were good for Cookstown; they hassled and hurried Carniny into mistakes and it wasn’t long before it paid off. A free kick from Arrell had too much power for the keeper and it rebounded to local man Mark Larmour who made no mistake from 5 yards.

Cookstown stuck to their guns and kept the pressure on high up the pitch with Devlin and Arrell running the channels perfectly, ably assisted by the wide men Jack Dingley and Jake Young.

The second goal wasn’t long in coming and it was a beauty. Stevie Arrell has hit his form recently and added another fine goal to his ever expanding collection when he turned and hit a shot from all of 35 yards that sailed over the keeper and into the top corner.

Larmour and Keane were providing solidity at the back, with the full backs, Donnelly and Wilson adding to the attacks when possible. However it was the two Ryan’s in centre midfield that seized the vital third goal that knocked the stuffing out of Carniny.

A great tackle initially by Ryan Dobson meant the ball went into the air and while everyone watched it come down, Ryan Rocks grabbed the initiative to attack the ball and send Devlin through. He lobbed the keeper perfectly and at half time the score line was a comfortable 3-0.

The coaches at half time warned against complacency and the players knew the game was all but won as long as the basics were correct. The predicted waves of attack were not altogether forthcoming and anything Ben Young had to do in nets he did without any problem. Cameron Thom replaced Devlin, while Buchanon replaced Dingley.

It was Cookstown who looked the livelier in attack despite the strong wind and Arrell, Dobson and Buchanon had good chances to extend the lead. The goal, when it came, was dubious but Cookstown got on the game.

Kelly replaced Dobson and McMullan replaced Young as Cookstown aimed to see out the game. A few great tackles towards the end prevented any scary moments and as the referee blew the whistle the Cookstown players knew that it was a very credible win that they had achieved.

Man of the match was Ryan Rocks and he seemed to pop up everywhere on the pitch.



Cookstown Colts U11 played Portadown U11 in the quarter finals of the Mid Ulster Youth League Shield on Friday at MUSA.

Ambitious as ever, the Colts came into the game with high hopes of clinching a victory against a high spirited and competitive Portadown side.

From the outset the boys pushed hard at Portadown with the midfield of Ferguson, Davey, Jeffers and O’Neill working hard to support the forward line of Armstrong, Ruddell and Smith who worked tirelessly to find space to retrieve the ball.

Their hard work and dedication to the task paid off half way through the first half with an accurate ball played through to the feet of Armstrong who controlled the ball and slid the ball into the bottom corner of the Portadown goal.

Full of confidence now, the Colts continued to press hard and had their fair share of chances in the first half. However, with just five minutes to go in the first half, the Colts had to adapt to the pressure of the Portadown, with the Colts midfield and forwards taking on a much more defensive role.

Their work to support the superb efforts of the defence of Whitten, Henry, McKernon and Donaghy showed “the team” ethos embraced by all of the Colts. Unfortunately their good work was undone when, a great block from the Cookstown defence came out to the edge of the box for a Portadown player to slot home a goal, leaving the half time score all level.

The second half started similar to the first half with Cookstown controlling the game, using every possible strategy to work the Portadown team back into their own half on countless occasions.

The Colts worked tirelessly to create chance after chance, eventually paying off with a superb team goal scored by Ferguson. The pressure from Portadown increased and started to threaten towards the end of the game creating a fantastic atmosphere for all fans. Portadown were only to be rejected to the superb defensive play from all the Cookstown team.

Credit must be given to the Colts goalkeepers (half each) Evans and Taylor who pulled off numerous outstanding saves to keep their team in line for a much deserved victory. Overall a brilliant game from the boys and an excellent result. Their passion evident throughout the game. A real credit to the boys, their parents and the coaches.



The 15s went into this game with six players missing due to a school trip , but were still hopeful of a result , against the bottom placed team in National League (B).

With a depleted team and a couple of U14s drafted in , the home team started the game well with Ryan Rocks , Ryan Dobson and Jake Young showing some good promise , along with Kyle Devlin having a few good chances , only to be caught offside.

The Cookstown lads took the lead on 20 mins after some great play from Cameron McMullan on the left and Rocks toe poked his shot to give his side into a slender 1-0 lead . Northend Utd relised that the 15s weren’t as strong as normal and were gaining confidence as the game progressed , and the home team were glad to see the half time interval to re-group.

Stefan O’Hare came on at half time , and put in a good performance , bearing in mind he is carrying an injury , however on a whole the home team didn’t come out for the half , and found themselves level after ten minutes .

The fight and commitment just wasn’t there , and to be honest the 14s players were showing more of a bite and effort on the their big stage , and fair play to them. Northend continued to bully and frustrate the home side , and were rewarded with a second , and winning goal , with ten minutes to go.

The 15s were unfortunate not to grab an equaliser after a few free kicks and corners , however the game finished with Northend picking up their first victory of the season.

A bad day at the office for the Cookstown boys, and not having a proper referee was only one factor of a poor performance , which Manager Andy Kelly was annoyed about, as he ended up with the whistle , and admitted afterwards that he was probably harsh on the home team , which tends to happen when put in that position , with a fear of favouring his own team, something which should not happen in the Northern Ireland Boys Football Association League.

Unlucky to the 15s and this will hopefully spur them on to victory in their next game , and well done to Northend United on chalking up their first win. As usual for this season many thanks to the support and the cups of tea at half time .



CYFC U18s recorded their third win in a row with a good 4-0 victory over Bessbrook at beechway last Saturday but suffered the lose of defender Adam Jordon who broke a bone in his foot.

In The opening 10 minutes both teams were finding it hard to take control of the match. with the home lads giving the ball away too often and the away team unable to break clear. But it was the home team that had the 1st scoring chance, Adam Glasgow pinged a (Steve G Like) sublime pass from centre half to Keifer Scott and his neat pass put in Abel who rounded the keeper only too shot into the side netting.

Reynolds had to be on his toes in the home goal on 20 minutes when the away team were awarded a free kick 20 yards but the big keeper pulled of a good save to keep the score level.

The home team took the lead on 25 minutes when Steffen Shields block busting shot from 30 yards out on the left beat the keeper but hit the post, thankfully James Ferson was following up to score from 6 yards out for 1-0. Moments later the ball broke on the right and Adam Jordon went in 100% to win the ball and had to be taken off following the tackle and was replaced by Gary Adams.

The home team were now under a little pressure but the back 4 off Adams, Shields, Glasgow and Hopper were playing great together and the away team could find no way through.

On 35 minutes the home team with a good break forward resulted in Garth Hull hitting a shot from 20 yards out but the away keeper pulled of a great save, a few minutes later Wilson made a fine run on the left beating 3 defender and again the keeper pulled of a good save. in the final 10 minutes the Bessbrook lads up their game but Captain Glasgow and Jamie Hopper in the heart of the home defence were outstanding with great well time tackles block shots and cutting out any danger the away team could come up with to keep the score at 1-0 going into the haft time break.

The half once more started off with neither team getting on top in the opening 10 minutes with Abel and Ferson causing a few problems in the box for the away team but with no final shot the danger was cleared and at the other end the back 4 were up to anything that Bessbrook threw at them.

James Kirkpatrick replaced Ferson on 57 minutes as the home team tried to change things up a little pushing Scott further forward . And on 60 minutes they were 2 up when great work by Wilson on the left when he put the defender under pressure and won the ball his good pass inside found Scott who moved the ball on to Hull and his pass put Abel in on goal but this time he made no mistake slotting past the keeper.

It was all Cookstown now with James McIvor finally on top of his game keeping the ball well and Hull, Wilson and Kirkpatrick in midfield working very hard and keeping the ball with some fine passing and movement. on 70 minutes a slick move between Abel and Scott put in Kirkpatrick on the right but the keeper made a fine save.

From a Steffen Shields corner the home team went 3 up when his deep corner had the keeper all over the place and it ended in the net of the post as the keeper tried to stop it curling in. McMullan replaced the hard working Hull on 73 minutes. Reynolds then pulled off a fine save down low to his left on 75 minutes.

James Kirkpatrick and Scott linked well with James getting a shot off from 20 yards. The away team were now pushing more and more men forward but again found a very determined and hard working defence and midfield hard to break down. on 80 minutes Shields from left back hit a great 30 yard pass that put Abel in and once more he made no mistake to score past the keeper for his 2nd and the teams 4th.

All at CYFC and the U18s would like to wish Adam Jordon a speedy recovery after breaking a bone in his foot in today match.

The U18s are away next Saturday to Moneyslane

Our ever popular Development Centre returns to the Mid Ulster Sports Arena this Friday 28th March 2014. Coaching sessions will start at 6.30pm sharp , and players are asked to attend MUSA from 6pm to facilitate registration. The sessions will finish at 7.30pm.

The cost is £3 per night for the duration of this incoming Development Centre term.