Cookstown Youth U12 v Coalisland U12 – MUYL U12 Plate Semi Final
After a fine run of home games in the league Cookstown Youth U12s made the short journey up the road on Saturday morning to take on their rivals Coalisland U12s in Castlecaulfield and conditions were perfect for what was about to unfold. With previous matches in the league always being a close affair it seemed going into the semi-final it would be a case of which team wanted it more.
The first half kicked off and both sides were cagey about going forward and took a little time to settle in, maybe owing to the occasion and the fact that a place in the final was at stake. Coalisland started the better of the two sides but unfortunately for them they were up against the defensive trio of Jeffers (soon to be replaced by Cathal through injury), Whitten and McCallion in front of the goalkeeper Monaghan who made it clear that nobody was getting by them today. With the defenders on song it almost seemed to give Cookstown a boost as they started to get into the game and create chances of their own with breathtaking link up play between Donaghy, Larmour and Leek forcing Coalisland to abandon their tactics and revert to the long ball game. Cookstown were now on top and it wasnt a matter of if but when their first goal was going to come and almost on cue Larmour dinked it in from a corner where it was met by the head of Leek and Cookstown found themselves 1 up and heading into the break in front.
Determined not to throw away their lead Cookstown started the second half as they had ended the first and with their dominance left spectators and coaches seemingly waiting for the next goal. With a deflected shot Cookstown were awarded a corner and with almost a carbon copy of the first goal saw Larmour deliver only for it this time to be met by the head of Donaghy and put Cookstown in full control of the tie with a 2-0 lead. Cookstown however weren’t done there and were hungry for more and kept pressing seeing shots from Larmour hit the post and the crossbar. With a change up front seeing Drew come on for O’Neill it wasn’t long before he seen his name on the scoresheet as Murphy played a clever through ball to him which he neatly tucked past the opposing goalkeeper. The tie was effectively over but it seemed someone forgot to tell the players as with relentless domination and pressure Cookstown continued to push forward and the rewards came as Murphy coming in from the left saw not one but two of his shots go past the Coalisland goalkeeper and give Cookstown a 5-0 lead and ultimately book their place in the final. Although Coalisland kept going and managed to nick one back at the end this was Cookstowns day as they wanted it more and delivered with a performance that whomever they meet it in the final will know that they need to be at their best to beat this very competent and polished side.
Man of the match could’ve went to a number of players today from Larmour with his two assists and only being beaten by the woodwork to Donaghy who ran the midfield or to Leek who seemingly had his best game in a Cookstown shirt or the goalkeeper Monaghan who kept the defence in check and cleared his lines whenever called upon but all were outdone by the performance of McCallion at centre back who effectively stopped Coalisland from playing as he won the balls in the air and the battles on the ground and was the impetus in Cookstowns performance.


CYFC 13s v Moira FC
Cookstown Youth U13’s played Moira FC at MUSA on Saturday. Cookstown started well and were soon putting the visitors under pressure; pushing forward Cookstown created several attempts to score. Cookstown took the lead when a strike by Young from an Adams corner was not held by the Moira keeper and Martin was on hand to tap it home.  The home team scored again soon after from a smartly taken free kick by Smith when he was fouled just outside the box. Smith scored two more before half-time to complete his hat trick. Cookstown made a number of changes at halftime and it was the visitors who scored the first goal of the second half. Cookstown settled, kept pressing, pushing forward and were awarded a penalty which was coolly dispatched by Smith. A Henry cross from the right allowed Robinson to turn and under pressure played a great ball to the feet of Martin who slotted the ball home. Martin scored again when one on one with the keeper placed the ball in the corner of the net to complete his hat trick.
Final Score: – Cookstown 7 – Moira 2
U13su13s against Moira FC
CYFC u15s 4 Carniny 1
Last Saturday Cookstown made the trip to Ballymena Showgrounds to face Carniny in a National League fixture in an afternoon kick off. Despite the strange kick off time the Whites started brightly against their Galgorm counterparts. Within 20 minutes Eoin Gallagher latched unto a loose ball just over the half and plundered an unstoppable forty yard thunderbolt past the hapless Carniny keeper. Five minutes later fantastic interplay between Shane Murphy, Thomas Mackle and Piotr Gabrysiak created Cookstown’s second through a fine finish by Jake Fraser from 12 yards. Mackle had another shot just before half time. Into the second half Rian Mullan, Kyle Cahoon, Karl Martin and Harry Wilson were all introduced. Tiernan Mackle went close twice from corners before Martin went agonisingly close with a headed effort after a great Gallagher run and cross. Gallagher then made it 3-0 after a great threaded ball from Murphy on the hour. Carniny never gave up with Morgan Moore making 3 fine saves before conceding with ten minutes remaining. Karl Martin then put the game to rest thumping home a fantastic top corner effort from twenty yards right at the end. Well done lads, a great team effort.

Newington YM 1 Cookstown 2 (aet)

CYFC Seniors progressed to their first Final after beating Belfast Side Newington YM in the semi-Final of the Canada Cup after extra time.

The home team had the better of the opening 15 minutes and passed the ball well but a well organized back four of Scott, Steven McElhatton, Dardis and Leslie kept them at bay and some poor shots from long range did not trouble Gareth McElhatton in the Cookstown Goal. Cookstown first chance of the half fell to Mark Megarry after good play from Philip McGarvey but the big forward shot was blocked. a few minutes later Barrie Kelly hit a superb free kick from 25 yards out that rattled the crossbar. From the next attack Keifer Scott picked up the ball on the half way line and beat 4 players with a great run but when he pulled the ball back there was no one on hand to apply the finishing touch and the danger was cleared. The home team were still dangerous going forward and full back Scott had his work cut out to try and stop their tricky winger and it was for their that most of their attacks came. McElhatton made a good save on 27 minutes to keep the scores level. Cookstown took the lead on 30 minutes when a deep Kelly Corner found Megarry at the back post and his header back across found Dardis who scored from 5 yards out with a bullet header for 1-0. The home team ones more pushed hard and again some great defending from McElhatton and Dardis at the heart of the CYFC defence kept them out. Scott again was the main threat for Cookstown with his penetrating runs. The home team drew level on 44 minutes when Cookstown failed to clear a corner and the after a McElhatton save the ball fell to a Newington player who scored from 10 yards out for 1-1.

The home side now had Cookstown under allot of pressure at the start of the 2nd half and their big striker hit the crossbar on 50 minutes, McElhatton then pulled of another good save a few minutes later. Jordon Glasgow was then introduced on 60 minutes and once more the local lads settled into the game after the onslaught from Newington. And it was Scott again who was put in behind the home defence but a great tackle from the defender stop the young forward. Danny McElhatton replaced the injured Kelly on 70 minutes and a fine run and cross from Danny down the left wing found Megarry but his header was just wide. with 10 minutes to go Mark Larmour came on for O’Neill. on 85 minutes Larmour and Glasgow linked well and it was Glasgow who had a shot well saved but no more goals seen the game go into extra time.

Cookstown were now looking the more dangerous team with the speed of Larmour causing the home defence real problems and Scott, Larmour and Megarry all had half chances but their best chance fell to Jordan Glasgow at the back post but the young mid-fielder rushed his shot when he had more time and the keeper saved.

in the second half of extra time Cookstown once more looked the most likely to find the breakthrough with again that man Larmour causing the home defence some real problems with his pace and it was him the forced the defender into his own corner where he conceded a throw in and the quick thinking Larmour took an early Throw in that found Johnny McKenna in the box with only the keeper to beat but his weak shot was well saved. But the local lads got their goal with 2 minutes left on the clock. Larmour again forced the defender into a mistake and the ball fell to Megarry who finished into the net from 14 yards out. in the final minute the home team pushed everyone forward and Gareth McElhatton pulled of the save of the match when in a crowded box the forward got a shot away that looked destined for the bottom left corner only for the keeper to somehow get a strong hand to it and push it round the post. the resulting corner was cleared and the final whistle was sounded to the Joy of the Cookstown Lads.

G McElhatton, J Scott, G Dardis, S McElhatton, J Leslie, P McGarvey, J McKenna, J O’Neill, B Kelly, K Scott, M Megarry, K McMullan, J Glasgow, M Larmour, A Doyle, D McElhatton, L Donaghy

The 1st are back to league action next week when they play Ballyclare North end away.

Goal scorer George Dardis in possesion for CYFCMark Megarry strokes in the winner against Newington.

Previous CYFC UPDATE FOR FRIDAY 11th and SATURDAY 12th MARCH 2016.

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