Tough times for Twos

Cookstown II 1 Instonians II 3

COOKSTOWN were left angry after a series of umpiring calls left them feeling hard done by against a very good Instonians team at Coolnafranky.

The Reds were under pressure early on but turned the tables on their talented opposition with a superb break out goal. The move was started by Dan Crooks, taken on by Andy McWhirter before Stevie Allen slid across goal for Tony Johnston to claim his fourth goal of the season.

Cookstown carried their lead into the half time break but became increasingly disillusioned with the game following a series of contentious calls by the away umpire. As temperatures rose, the Reds’ game started to unravel and the Belfast outfit – one of the best the Reds have played this year - come back into the game.

A short corner conversion, un-penalised air shot and back stick put a downer on what was in truth a really good performance from the away side which gave them a 3-1 win.

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

Bangor II 5 Cookstown III 3

Cookstown III travelled to the seaside on Saturday with just the bare eleven troops and put in a fantastic performance against a good hockey playing Bangor side.

With little preparation it was no surprise that Cookstown started slowly. By the time they got settled into the game Bangor were two goals to the good, Johnny McNaught with a blistering short corner drive and tap in at the back post after a slick move.

Cookstown’s defence of Brown, Cherry, Major and Hagan had their hands full with wave after wave of attacks. Gillis in goals was keeping Cookstown in the game at this stage. As the half went on Watt, Millar and Morrow in midfield were getting to grips with the Bangor midfield. Millar who was outstanding all day started a move that got Cookstown back into the game before the half was over, Watt hammering the ball home after some neat interplay.

Cookstown began to play in a more direct style and it wasn’t long before a move involving Greer and Nelson brought Cookstown level, Nelson slotting home from a narrow angle.

Cookstown then went ahead after a defence splitting pass from Cherry found Smyth free in the circle and he made no mistake slipping the home to put Cookstown ahead. The lead however was not to last long. Bangor broke up field from a Cookstown short corner and drew the sides level with 10 minutes remaining.

The free flowing, attacking hockey continued to the end Lappin smashing home to put Bangor ahead. Cookstown pushed forward allowing Bangor to add their fifth of the day with two minutes left. Cookstown still had time to miss a penalty stroke, taken shall remain nameless.

Cookstown III: A. Gillis, P. Cherry, C. Brown, I. Hagan, G. Major, P. Watt, R. Millar, P. Morrow, S. Nelson, M. Greer & M. Smyth.


Saturday November 17

Cookstown v Belfast Harlequins (2.30pm)

Cookstown II v Newry II (4pm)

Banbridge III v Cookstown III (4pm)

Cookstown IV v Banbridge IV (1pm)

Cookstown V v Cliftonville II (4pm)

Ballymena v Cookstown Ladies

Cookstown Ladies II v Ballymena II (2.30pm)