CYFC u12s drew with Maiden City

Last Saturday the 2008’s faced Maiden City for the first time in a National League friendly fixture at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre in Ballymoney. Maiden’s dynamic and quick wingers caused the back three of Lennox, Irwin and Ferson a few problems in the opening minutes of the game but a fine finish from Mulgrew after a poor keeper clearance opened the scoring for the Whites on 5 minutes. Two minutes later it was honours even with a sharp finish from the edge of the box from City’s striker. Kelso latched unto a pinpoint cross from Donnelly to header home Cookstown’s second on 10 minutes from 10 yards. Ferguson and Mulgrew saw shots sail wide on 15 and 18 minutes before the Reds squared things again just before the halftime whistle. 

A reshuffle of players to cover the injured Irwin saw captain McKenzie drop into centre half with Talbot going up top. Within minutes Talbot followed up a shot from Kelso to thunder home the rebound off the City keeper. Cookstown were rampant in this ten minute period with McElhatton, Kelso and Ferguson all going close with great chances. Maiden then created several good chances of their own with Patterson standing firm between the sticks. But it was Ferguson who finally plundered his deserved goal on 40 minutes with a rasping drive from 25 yards as the Whites doubled their lead. A few strange and disappointing referee decisions against Cookstown then scuppered their good work and dominance. An unbelievable handball decision and an obvious but missed foul on striker Wilson allowed Maiden back into the game right at the death to grab 2 late goals and an unlikely draw.

Team: B. Patterson, B. Lennox, E. Irwin, J. Ferson, A. McElhatton, H. Mckenzie, B. Mulgrew, J. Donnelly, I. Kelso, C. Talbot, J. Ferguson, J. Wilson, J. Patterson.

CYFC u14 Colts 3-2 Rathfriland u14s

Cookstown Colts played their first Premiership section game on Saturday against Rathfriland at Kernan Playing Fields.

Rathfriland started the game the much better side and were passing the ball around much better than the Colts. A change in formation from previous weeks seemed to have slightly confused the Cookstown side and they were unable to get a grasp of the game. Jude Murphy was working hard up front and his quick footwork earned his side a penalty on 15 minutes. However, the goalkeeper made a brilliant save down to his left. From the resulting corner the goalkeeper again made a super save to deny Jude Murphy again from close range. It was Rathfriland who took the lead on 18 minutes when a loose pass at the back was intercepted and the forward made no mistake in punishing the Colts. Rathfriland seemed much more enthusiastic and deservedly doubled their lead on 24 minutes with no response until the half time break. 

At the break the Colts reverted back to their usual shape and Marcus Boyd was introduced to try to get back into the game. Cookstown started the second period much sharper and immediately looked much more dangerous. Ben McCormack and Aren Kudrenko were doing well on the wings while Ciaran Devlin was working hard for his side in midfield. With the good start to the half and a bit more pressure the away side got back into the game when the ball fell to Jude Murphy in the box who finished the chance well. The Colts were now confident of getting back into the game and were pinning Rathfriland back. Ben McCormack was torturing the left back with his driving runs and won his side a corner. A fantastic delivery from the corner by Ryan Eccles was met at the back post by Sean Devlin who leapt highest and fired a bullet header into the back of the net. Cookstown were on top and now pushing for the winner. Shayne Ferrity was brought on at right back and Callum McCreesh was reintroduced up front to push for the third. The chances were starting to come and Jude Murphy went close with a lob while Callum McCreesh and Ben McCormack also had efforts saved. The Colts kept going and their fighting spirit paid off on the 53rd minute when the ball broke to Ryan Eccles who opened up and found the bottom left corner with a lovely curling effort  from 25 yards out. Rathfriland did not give up and the Cookstown back line had to keep their concentration as the home side kept going for an equaliser. Shayne Ferrity made some important challenges and Ethan Gordon was called into action in the dying minutes from a few late corners. Despite the best efforts of Rathfriland, Cookstown held firm in a nervy few minutes and got over the line with a super three points to start their Premiership campaign.

Team: Ethan Gordon, Dylan Hamilton, Scott Gillis, Sean Devlin, Shayne Ferrity, PJ Cassidy, Aren Kudrenko, Ciaran Devlin, Ryan Eccles, Ben McCormack, Callum McCreesh, Marcus Boyd, Jude Murphy

Cyfc u14 Youth 0-2 Greenisland u14s

On Saturday the CYFC under 14 Youth team took on the League Leaders Greenisland at the MUSA. After a run of impressive results and defeating Ballymena convincingly last week the CYFC team were on a crest of a wave and looked confident from the off. Some nice play in mid field from Wilkinson, McClean and Kerrigan provided Spiers and Mallon with a few half opportunities in the early exchanges that they failed to convert. Despite the opportunities it was Greenisland who broke the deadlock after ten minutes. An uncharacteristic mistake from the CYFC defence provided the Greenisland striker with the opportunity to make a run into the box and with a timely lay off opened the scoring.  The goal seemed to spark the CYFC into action and there was a grit and determination in the CYFC team in their response to the early set back. The defensive line up of Sheehy, Hawker, McNicholl and Quinn were solid and were able to deal with whatever the Greenisland team through at them. There were opportunities for CYFC at the other end of the pitch with young Mallon hitting the bar from a free kick effort and Kearney dazzling the Greenisland defence with some silky smooth skills down the left wing. Going in at half time CYFC were defenitely holding their own and looked to be on top.

The second half saw them continue with their high pressing tactics after some tough talking from manager Kelly. The introduction of Higgins, Ward, McGeehan and Bell provided a fresh impetus to the CYFC team as they pressed for the equaliser. Despite their best efforts the goal proved to be elusive and with 10 minutes remaining it was Greenisland who snatched a goal to provide valuable breathing space. After pressing high up the pitch Greenisland broke threw in numbers into the CYFC half and finding themselves outnumbered  the Greenisland striker made it two.

This was an exhilarating match to watch for the neutral, however CYFC lads will be disappointed not to get something out of this game, particularly given the number of missed opportunities. Next week they travel to Ballyclare in their last game of 2019.

Team: Neeson, Hawker, Sheehy, McNicholl, Quinn, McClean, Wilkinson, Kerrigan, Kearney, Speirs, Mallon, Ward, Higgins, Bell, McElkennon, McGeehan, McKeown.

CYFC 1-1 Castlewellan FC 

Cookstown Youth U17’s travelled to Gordon Playing Fields; Lurgan to play Castlewellan FC in what was their first meeting at this age group. A highly competitive opening saw both teams go for it, with both teams creating chances. Fifteen minutes in Cookstown should have been awarded a penalty when Oghran McAleer was clearly brought down in the penalty area; but the referee did not give it and waved away any protests. With the Cookstown pressure mounting, they were awarded a penalty in the twenty fifth minute. The penalty taken by Callum Davidson was initially saved by the keeper but Davidson followed up ensuring the rebound hit the back of the net. 

Cookstown’s lead didn’t last long when just before halftime Castlewellan were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area. The free kick evaded the wall and although goalkeeper Adam Taylor got a hand to it, he was unable to keep it out. Cookstown should have taken the lead early in the second half when Jack Martin had a great chance but his shot drifted just over the crossbar. With the Cookstown defence on top, they were able to push forward; Oghran McAleer was put through and almost got onto the end of a great pass but brave goalkeeping denied him. The collision between Oghran and the keeper saw both having to be taken off injured, but both are thankfully OK. With time running out either team could’ve won it, but the match ended in a draw, a fair result.

Team: A.Taylor, A. Devlin, C.Ballentine, R.Campbell, T.Davidson, R O’Gara, G.Cahoon, C.Davidson, J Donnelly, J.Martin, O.McAleer, D.Crockett, N.Hailing, R.Lennox, J.Clarke


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