Cookstown Ladies 1st XI 2
Galway Ladies 1st XI 3
COOKSTOWN Ladies began their Irish Trophy campaign on Saturday against top Connaught team, Galway, at Coolnafranky. Cookstown knew they had to take advantage of the fact that Galway had just travelled four and a half hours to get there, so a strong, dominating start was necessary.
From the whistle Cookstown showed great linking play between the midfield and forward line but were broken down by an experienced Galway defence.
It wasn’t long until Cookstown won their first short corner which was cleanly hit out by G. Brown allowing L. McAleece to get a great shot on goal, putting the ladies 1-0 ahead.
Galway fought back hard but sweeper G. Brown was able to make some fantastic tackles to help keep Cookstown ahead. An injury to centre-mid R. Brown meant Cookstown lost strength for a period in midfield however R. Stewart came on and was able to create great linking play down the right hand side of the pitch.
Galway kept pushing and towards the end of the first half and finally broke Cookstown’s defence, a one on one with the keeper left the half-time score at 1-1.
An early short corner was won by Galway at the beginning of the second half and a straight strike on target left the score at 2-1.
This did not deter Cookstown and with great speed and skill from forward L. Johnston almost allowed Cookstown to quickly equalise.
Continual long balls through to fast switching Galway forwards meant Cookstown’s defence had no time to relax. Eventually, this proved too much and Galway scored another goal through speedy open play.
Even with being 3-1 down, Cookstown knew they had nothing to lose and fought hard to the final whistle.
In the dying minutes a great ball by R. Millar followed by quick linking play between R. Brown and C. Brown allowed R. Brown to get a shot on target, leaving the final score at 3-2.
Both teams showed great determination throughout, even with the atrocious weather conditions they were faced with.
Next Saturday Cookstown play North Down away and will be looking for valuable league points as there are little points between top and bottom of Senior One this season.
Team; B. Williamson, G. Brown (vice-captain), R. Smyth, R. Campbell, R. Millar, J. Richardson, R. Brown, E. Harper, L. Johnston, C. Brown, L. McAleece (captain), A. Scott, R. Stewart.