Football: Keane screamer crowns U15 win over Ballymena

Cookstown Youth U16 in action from their match at the weekend.
Cookstown Youth U16 in action from their match at the weekend.

Cookstown U13 3 Sion Swifts 1

Last Saturday the young sizzlers made the long trip to Strabane to face Sion Swifts in a National League B fixture.

Gerry Quinn’s boys faced lowly Sion Swifts at Melvin Park with a late kick off time of 1.30 pm buoyed by a recent home victory over unbeaten Oak Athletic.

Unsurprisingly Cookstown went for the jugular straight from the first whistle with wide men Iarlaith Donaghy and Thomas Mackle opening up the home defence at will. Eoin Gallagher saw a good chance slip wide from a great Tiernan O’Neill corner after five minutes with Tiernan Mackle and Bobbie Patterson testing the Sion keeper from distance.

Cookstown’s high pressing game deep in the Sion half saw a great piece of passing and movement create the opening goal on 13 minutes. A jinking run by Thomas Mackle and great pass from Eoin Gallagher found captain Iarlaith Donaghy on the edge of the Sion goal mouth. He bamboozled the Sion defender with a great turn and smashed home with his left foot from 18 yards.

Two minutes later he broke clear of the Sion full back only to see a similar drive slip agonisingly past the post. Strikers Gallagher and Lee Glasgow both went close just before half time.

Tiernan O’Neill again went close five minutes into the second half before Sion picked up an unlikely equaliser on 36 minutes with Jamie Campbell left no chance from twelve yards. One minute later substitute Shane Murphy powered past two Sion players to power home an unstoppable twenty five yard left footed bullet to regain a deserved lead.

An unbelievable run by Thomas Mackle beating five Sion players delivered Murphy his second and Cookstown’s third ten minutes later as he drove home Mackle’s perfect pass from fifteen yards. Substitute Craig Bigger combined well with Harry Wilson and was unlucky not to find the net for Cookstown’s fourth.

Keeper Campbell who had little to do most of the game pulled off an unbelievable save from fifteen yards as Sion pushed and pushed in the dying minutes to try and get back into the game.

Captain Donaghy shot just wide as Cookstown ran out deserved winners with Tiernan O’Neill named man of the match by the referee. All the players and coaches for a swift recovery by Tiernan’s mum after a recent road accident.

CYFC: J. Campbell, B. Patterson, R. McLean, W. Kenning, D. Bigger, I. Donaghy, Tiernan Mackle, Tiernan O’Neill, Thomas Mackle, E. Gallagher, L. Glasgow, S. Murphy, C. Bigger, H. Wilson, R. Mullan.

Cookstown U15 4

Ballymena 1

Cookstown were at home on Friday night at MUSA determined to keep their recent run of good form going.

Having played Ballymena earlier in the year and losing to a wonder-goal, the boys knew this was a good opportunity to gain another three points.

It started very positively; Cookstown attacked and won a corner through Devlin which was delivered by Arrell onto Larmour’s head for the opener after 4 minutes. Cookstown missed a lot of good chances after that, Devlin, Arrell, Dingley and Dobson all missing opportunities to double the lead and as the game wore on Ballymena became more confident and should have levelled it before the half.

Donnelly, McCrum, Larmour and Wilson kept it tight and compact at the back while Keane and Dobson continued their recent resurgence with the energy and commitment to every tackle. Cameron Thom worked hard in the first half and was replaced by Jake Young.

Immediately the change worked as it was Young who got the crucial second goal after a great run down the right hand side. A third came shortly after too, this time Keane dropped the shoulder and produced a thunderbolt into the top corner. As the game became more comfortable, more changes were made. Hughes, Kelly, O’Hare and McMullan came on as Cookstown made the most of the roll on, roll off rule.

Ballymena pulled one goal back after a missed tackle but Cookstown wrapped it up finally with an O’Hare strike that lobbed over the keeper via a deflection.

A good win for Cookstown and a bit of confidence to take into the game this Saturday at home to Portadown.

CYFC: McGuigan, Donnelly, McCrum, Larmour, Wilson, Keane, Dobson, Dingley, Thom, Arrell, Devlin, Young, Kelly, O’Hare, Hughes, McMullan and Buchanon



CYFC Development Centre continues this Friday 8th November , at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena.

Coaching takes place from 6.30pm until 7.45pm, and runs for the next 9 weeks. Players from the age of 6yrs (born 2007) will be made more than welcome, and the Developmen Centret caters for kids , Male and Female , whatever their ability, up until they are 14yrs old and even after that there is always the oppertunity to become a helper.

The cost for the sessions is £3 per night.

We look forward to seeing you all back with us and also look forward welcoming anyone new.

Cookstown Youth FC welcomes all sections of the community and our coaches are all IFA accredited and Child Protection trained.Players attending this Friday evening are advised to attend MUSA 15mins before the start to facilitate registration !!


A massive thanks to all those who supported the Steak BBQ last Saturday in Cookstown Hockey Club.

The food as usual was top notch and the craic mighty. Thanks also to the organisers Stafford and Alan and to the two chefs Rodney and Noal.