Threes finally see out winning lead

Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/Presseye'Men's Hockey: Junior Shield Final'Teams: Cookstown 4th XI (red) v North Down 4th XI (navy)'Venue: Stormont'Date: 9th April 2011'Caption: Ross Linter, North Down and Richard McGaw, Cookstown
Mandatory Credit: Rowland White/Presseye'Men's Hockey: Junior Shield Final'Teams: Cookstown 4th XI (red) v North Down 4th XI (navy)'Venue: Stormont'Date: 9th April 2011'Caption: Ross Linter, North Down and Richard McGaw, Cookstown

JL1 Mossley III 2 Cookstown II 5

Mark Rooney got season debut off to a stormer with a quickfire double which helped Cookstown to a sterling 5-2 win on the road.

Stevie Allen opened the scoring for the Reds when Butler won the ball on the right and shifted it to Nelson. He picked out Ian Johnston with a pinpoint pass and the schoolboy did well to pick out Allen at the back post.

Ian Cheevers converted a broken down short corner to make it 2-1 but sloppy passing and a lack of accuracy led to Mossley coming back into the game. First, a lob over the top caught the defence napping and a forward ran through to beat Anderson with an unstoppable strike. Anderson kept Cookstown in it with a number of strong stops before half time.

A great run from the left in the second half saw Dicky Nelson, who had already hit the post, turn bullishly on the top of the circle and slot into the bottom corner on the reverse to give Cookstown breathing space at 3-1 but a breakout saw Mossley slot home at the third attempt despite Butler’s best endeavours to keep it out.

Mark Rooney, making his first start of the season for the Twos, proved the hero when he put the match beyond the Newtownabbey men with a deft flick over the keeper at the third attempt.

His second came just minutes later when Ferguson and Tony Johnston made great progress down the right before bringing sweeper Cheevers into play. He sent the ball into the heart of the Mossley circle where Rooney met it, deflecting high into the net.

Cookstown II: Michael Anderson, David Atkinson, Ian Cheevers, Daniel Crooks, Mark Wilson, Gavin Butler, Andrew Ferguson, Richard Nelson, Tony Johnston, Steven Allen, Mark Rooney, Ian Johnston

Man of the Match: Stevie Allen

Many thanks to Stevie Hamilton for umpiring this match.

JL2 Antrim II 2 Cookstown III 9

Cookstown travelled to Antrim last Friday not really expecting much from the game as Antrim can be a tough team to play on Friday night.

However Cookstown were to shine on the night. The Reds came racing out of the blocks and played some magnificent hockey.

It wasn’t long until the deadlock was broken and Mitchell Greer had his first of the season after some great open play.

This was shortly followed by a Cookstown short corner which Atkinson dragged low to the keeper’s right.

Cookstown had more in the first half, one being an OG while McGaw was on target for his first with Greer grabbing a second.

This left Cookstown five goals to the good, but everyone was determined to give it their all in the second period as in the two games proceeding this, they had surrendered three and four goal leads to lose out on points.

The worries were to prove unfounded as four more goals were added with McGaw grabbing his hatrick and Greer ending the night on four goals.

A truly exceptional performance from all the Reds team!

Cookstown III: A Henry, M Millar, G Thom, D atkinson, P Morrow,Paul Watt, M Greer, R McGaw,,M Crooks, G Donaldson, G Black, T Sloan, C Hutchinson

Man of the Match: Mitchell Greer

Many thanks to Stevie Hamilton for umpiring this match.

JL4 Cookstown V 2 Armagh III 1

An in form Cookstown team welcomed Armagh to Coolnafranky, looking to continue their good run.

The Reds showed why they are top of the league and had Armagh on the back foot right from the first whistle.

Cookstown created numerous chances in the opening period but were unable to convert. The pressure soon paid off after a short corner routine ended up with Alistair Thom firing home to put the home side 1-0 up.

This seemed to be the catalyst the Fives needed and it looked like a simple case of how many it would be. Armagh were not going to roll over.

Somewhat against the run of play, the away side broke down the field and managed to penetrate the Cookstown defence, which had very little to do previously, and applied and excellent finish to leave the half time score at a very unreflective 1-1.

In the second half, the away side seemed to wake up and posed much more of a challenge. This didn’t seem to faze Cookstown though, as they continued to push forward in search of more goals.

With the impressive Alistair Thom playing some great balls into the ‘D’ and some penetrating runs being made by Anderson and Nelson, it looked like it was only a matter of time until the goals arrived.

Midway through the half it was unsurprising the goal came from an Alistair Thom ball into the circle which was coolly finished off by Smyth, the man in red hot goal scoring form.

The Reds continued to push forward in search of more goals, at times leaving themselves open for a counter attack, but the defence stood strong and on the rare occasion the defence was breached, Henry in nets was well alert and wasn’t going to be beaten again.

The game finished as it had been played with Cookstown pressing forward and the result was never really in doubt to ensure the Fives remain top of the league.

Cookstown V: A. Henry, A. Thom, G. Thom, S. Otterson, C. Sanderson, G. Leonard, M. McWhirter, C. Anderson, P. Hughes, R. Agnew, J. McWhirter, H. Acheson, M. Smyth, S.Nelson, M. Greer

Man of the Match: Simon Otterson

Thanks to Brian Thom and Les Allen for umpiring