Olympic edge nine-goal thriller

Ballyclare North End 4

Cookstonw Olympic 5

COOKSTOWN Olympic, sponsored this season by Moe’s Bar, Cookstown, made the journey to Ballyclare last Saturday to play Ballyclare North End in the first round of the Crawford Cup and in a match that had possibly everything in a cup game that they eventually won on a 5-4 score line.
On the narrow pitch at Ballyclare Leisure Centre the home team had a corner after 5 minutes that needed a goal line clearance while Olympic got their game together after 16 minutes when a Ryan O’Neill free kick was flicked goal wards by Ryan Devlin but the Ballyclare keeper pushed it out only to Jonathan O’Neill who header was then tipped on to the bar.

The locals then took the lead after a goal mouth scramble on 20 minutes but Olympic levelled two minutes later when Ryan O’Neill, Ruairi Scullion and Ryan Devlin combined to give Nigel Johnston a shot from 20 yards which he rifled to the net.

Olympic then took the lead after 33 minutes when a Ryan Devlin corner had to be poked off the line but then Nigel Johnston reacted quickest to head it back past the keeper. Johnston had a great chance on 40 minutes for this third from a Ryan Devlin long throw but his volley grazed the bar. Ballyclare had a big effort on the Olympic goal after 44 minutes but keeper Jamie O’Neill bravely punched clear.
Ballyclare North End were quick to start in the second half and Olympic had to defend a strong onslaught but they won a free kick 25 yards out from the Ballyclare goal after 52 minutes and Jonathan O’Neill curled a fantastic shot into the top corner for a three one lead.

Three minutes later and Olympic conceded a second goal but were then awarded a penalty after 59 minutes and Ryan O’Neill placed one of his special shots well out of the keepers reach to put Olympic four two ahead. Then Olympic got their fifth goal after 65 minutes and it was something special that may never be repeated in the clubs history as the goal was scored by Olympics keeper Jamie O’Neill.

Gathering the ball on his six yard line Jamie took a couple of steps and launched a kick down the field and with wind assistance, he watched with some confidence as it was misjudged by the Ballyclare keeper who could then only turn and watch it bounce into his empty net.

Ballyclare then threw caution to the wind and launched an all out onslaught on Olympic mostly committing 9 men into attack and it paid off with a goal pulled back after 80 minutes and then a stroke of luck after 84 minutes from a deflected clearance that fell to their forward and he scored to make it five four to Olympic. It was then time for Olympic to close out the remaining minutes to progress into the next round.
Team: Jamie O’Neill, C O’Reilly, E McSloy, Jonny O’Neill, M O’Hare, M Meenan, P McVey, R Scullion, R O’Neill, N Johnston and R Devlin. Subs R McGranaghan, L Mullan and D McCabe.
Cookstown Olympic will not have a fixture on 22nd September and then it is down to a local derby on Saturday 29th September when they will entertain Killymoon Res at Beechway with a 2pm kick off.


Training will now continue on the synthetic pitch at MUSA each Thursday from 7pm sharp.


The Lucky 4 Lottery numbers for Saturday 15th September were 5, 8, 17 and 22. There were no winners who matched four numbers for the £275 jackpot. There were no winners who matched 3 numbers and the jackpot will now be £275 for next week’s draw and tickets are available from any committee or team member.