Cookstown too strong for Portadown

Cookstown RFC 32

Portadown 7

COOKSTOWN made the short trip down the M1 on Saturday 26 November to take on a strong Portadown side at Chambers Park.

With a gale force wind blowing down one end of the pitch, the outcome of the game was decided by which team could adapt to the conditions. A superb defensive display resulted in a hard fought and well earned victory for Cookstown.

Man of the Match, Backrower and understated Martin Boone showed his worth to the team by putting in big hits and turning over ball throughout the game. Martin was ably assisted by centre Ronan Campbell who continued his good form by setting up a number of try scoring opportunities and stopping anything that ran at him. Winger Denver Nugent once again proved to be a thorn in the opposition side by punishing any loose kicks and tackling tenaciously throughout.

Fellow Pomeroy man Ciaran McKenna who opened the scoring with a superb solo try also put in a solid display at outside centre. Winger Connor Harte showed up well in his defensive duties. His replacement Stevie Quinn made his presence felt soon after entering the fray making some big hits. Full back Paul O’Neill, making his first start of the campaign, showed his worth to the team by banging over a penalty from the half way line and keeping the scoreboard ticking over throughout the game. The half back pairing of Ciaran Currie and Daryl Donaghy controlled the play well and coped admirably despite the poor quality of ball they received. An injury to Daryl saw Dave ‘Simba’ Weir come into the game and get his hair wet.

The battle up front saw Cookstown withstand a lot of pressure from the Portadown eight, prop Owen Mallon was prominent throughout. Stephen Rea combined well with his second row at lineout time. Martin Devlin once again got on the score sheet with two well taken try’s following some good support play. In the backrow Neil Thompson had a busy day tackling and carrying ball. Team captain Ryan Eastwood played his first full game since September and put in a solid display.

Squad: John McGurk, Kevin Nugent, Stevie Quinn, Richard Brown, Graeme McBride, Paul O’Neill, Connor Harte, Denver Nugent, Ciaran McKenna, Ronan Campbell, Ciaran Currie, Daryl Donaghy, Liam Currie, Stephen Rea, Owen Mallon, Adam Stinson, Martin Devlin, Martin Boone, Neil Thompson, Ryan Eastwood.

The club would like to thank all supporters who turned out to cheer the boys on. A special thank you must also go to local photographer Daron Patterson for braving the elements and providing coverage of the game and also to Portadown RFC for their hospitality after the game.

Saturday 10 December sees the club enter cup action with an away fixture against Mallusk side Ophir in the McCambley Cup. These teams have already locked horns this year in the Randalstown Tournament, Ophir emerging victorious on that occasion.