Sports

Megarry on the Mark for Cookstown Youth

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

COOKSTOWN Youth travelled to Belfast to take on Sport & Leisure in the league and came away with all three points in a match played in very wet and windy conditions.

Sport & Leisure Swifts...1
Cookstown Youth...2

Cookstown had the first chance of the match when Steven McElhatton spilt the defence with a great pass to find Drew Kelly and, with only the keeper to beat, Kelly's poor shot was easily saved by the home keeper.

The front pairing of the home team were always very lively and making good runs and really should have done better on 15 minutes when the striker was well placed inside the box, but shot over.

The home side were getting on top and on the half hour they got the break through when their striker was found on the left and his good cross was finished at the front post by his partner up front for 1-0.

It should have been 2-0 minutes later when again the two forward players combined to get a shot past McElhatton in goal but Paul Stewart did great work to get back and clear the ball off the line.

Cookstown had a great chance on 40 mins to get back on level terms when Steven McElhatton picked out Ali Young in the box but the striker shot straight at the keeper.

Cookstown started much better in the second half but, with the conditions getting worse, it was hard to string a few passes together.

The home team were now very dangerous on the break and McElhatton pulled off a great save on 55 minutes to keep the score at 1-0.

On 55 minutes Johnny O'Neill was replaced by Ryan O'Neill and with the next goal kick George Dardis won a header and put through Mark Megarry, who made no mistake to bring the game level at 1-1.

Mathew Heagney was then introduced for Drew Kelly and Cookstown started to dominate, with Ryan O'Neill causing the home team a lot of problem with his great delivery from free kicks and corners.

On 65 minutes, Cookstown finally got in front when Danny McElhatton put through Megarry again and once more the big forward made no mistake for 2-1.

Cookstown were once more made to work very hard all over the pitch to keep their lead and the back four of Barrie Kelly, Paul Stewart, George Dardis and James Leslie all had to be at the best to keep the home team out, with McElhatton in goals in good form also.

On 70 minutes, Young almost added to the score from another O'Neill corner but his front post header shaved the post.

Philip McGarvey replaced Ali Young on 75 minutes and they should have put the game to bed a few minutes later when O'Neill on the right found Heagney in the box but, with only the keeper to beat from six yards out, he shot straight at the netminder and the danger was cleared.

The home team kept pushing Cookstown and on 85 minutes a good move was well saved again by McElhatton.

The next attempt on goal fell to Heagney again when O'Neill took a free kick from 30 yards out and Heagney volleyed the ball goalwards from six yards out, but the keeper pulled off a great save to push it over the bar.

Cookstown had a number of corners after this as they saw out the game for a very hard fought win against a good side.

Cookstown Youth - G McElhatton, B Kelly, J Leslie, G Dardis, P Stewart, S McElhatton, D Kelly, D McElhatton, M Megarry, A Young, J O'Neill, M Heagney, R O'Neill, P McGarvey, L Donaghy.

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