Redsí survival hopes knocked off track

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

COOKSTOWN will have the most nail-biting of finishes to their season after a defeat on the road to Railway Union on Saturday.

Railway Union...3

The Reds went into the game in the hope of extending their lead over the bottom side, but suffered a last minute defeat which brings the Sandymount side level on points with the Cookstown men at the wrong end of the EY Hockey League

Cookstown started the game very well, putting a lot of pace on the ball and stretching Railway around the pitch. Good chances fell to Jack Haycock and Stu Smyth, but neither player could find the finish. Further opportunities were created through a series of quick frees, but the final pass was just off and went without conversion.

Just as Cookstown were beginning to feel comfortable in the game, Railway grabbed a goal on the counterattack. A crash ball into the circle by Mark English was finished by a deflection from Willie Fernandez.

The goal was what Cookstown needed to kick start them. Once again they had some great pressure and were rewarded when Mark Crooks found Ryan Millar in the circle. He marked his return to action with a nice finish on his reverse for 1-1.

The Reds pushed forward for the win and wasted a few chances through Greg Allen and Michael Kerr.

Railway went ahead in the game through a well worked penalty corner by Simon McKeever and at this point it was all or nothing for Cookstown. With 10 minutes remaining, Smyth squared up the game with a text book drag flick from a penalty corner.

Cookstown were unlucky not to go ahead when Smyth struck the upright but Josh McCabe in the Reds' goal was the busier, twice making top class stops as Railway raced one-on-one on the counter.

With 45 seconds remaining, Railway's English found space in the Cookstown circle and smashed home on the reverse to make it 3-2.

Cookstown will have a lot of time to analyse the loss with the next month off from competitive matches.


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