Leaders Lisnagarvey held to draw by ladies

Cookstown Ladies took the pitch to play league leaders Lisnagarvey on Saturday.

The Reds got off to a bit of a shaky start and it wasn’t long until Lisnagarvey took the lead, with skilful play by forwards to slip the ball into the goal. Not long after Garvey was on the attack again but L. Donaghy was on the line to keep them at bay.

Cookstown then went on the attack and good linking play on the left by L. Donaghy and G. Todd allowed C. Brown to hit a shot just wide of the goal.

The Reds started to settle into the game and build well as a team changing a few players to different positions. Garvey kept the pressure on and a ball played through to the forward left K. Hodgett one on one allowing Garvey to double their lead.

This is when the wake up call for Cookstown came! The ladies started to play as a team linking well up both left and right side, creating chances in the circle.

The first half was coming to a close and Cookstown were still determined to get on the score sheet. The chance finally came when C. Brown showed great individual skill to enter the circle and calmly placed the ball into the far corner leaving the score 2-1 at half time.

After a long chat at half time Cookstown came out starting the stronger team. R. Smyth stuck to her player like glue preventing any attacking play and great consistent hitting from G. Brown at the back prevented any attacking phases from being converted. R. Stewart was then awarded a penalty corner. The ball played to the top circle allowed J. Burns to slip the ball right for C. Brown to send a shot that went inches wide.

As the half continued L. Donaghy made a great tackle to float a ball down the line for R. Millar to run onto, sending a strong hit into the circle but no one could get on the end of it. Not long after a strong G. Brown tackle played J. Burns in the centre and good passing allowed J. Richardson to get a run towards goal, but Garvey was having none of it, with an intercept made left Cookstown exposed but K. Hodgett and her defenders dealt with the situation easily.

With the score line still 2-1 and Cookstown holding well the girls would not give up. Super skill saw L. Johnston win a free, quickly taken by J. Burns let her go on a run through the middle playing a ball to J. Richardson, J. Burns continued her run into the circle let J. Richardson slip the ball back to her making a long reach slipped the ball past the Garvey keeper for it to be deflected off the line, but L. Johnston came up with a rebound to send the ball into the Garvey goal.

With a positive attitude Cookstown knew they had hope, all they had to do was not concede.

At this stage Garvey was getting annoyed and they applied the pressure and soon won a penalty corner. It was well struck shot but G. Brown kept them from scoring with an excellent on line stick stop.

Minutes later Garvey won another penalty corner but, ‘no goal’ was on K. Hodgett’s mind and made a terrific save. More attack came and Cookstown stayed focused and where happy to hear the final whistle.

This was an excellent result by Cookstown as it was the first game Garvey did not win this season! Great performance by the whole team receiving a well deserved point.

Cookstown Ladies: K. Hodgett, G. Brown, J. Burns, R. Smyth, L. Donaghy, L. Johnston, J. Richardson, G. Todd, R. Stewart, C. Brown, R. Millar, A. Scott, C. McWhirter, S. Watt