Donaghadee were convincingly beaten 44-18 by Cooke last Saturday in their heaviest defeat of this campaign.
Donaghadee made a couple of enforced couple of changes to the team that beat Ballymoney in the second round of the Towns Cup with front row forwards Chris Schofield and Chris Goode missing out due to illness.
Cooke narrowly missed out on the league title last season to Armagh and continue to have aspirations of doing one better this season. Cooke started the game strongly and scored their first of six tries after four minutes played.
Although Cooke dominated the first half it was only a converted try in the last play of the half that extended Cookes lead to a 22-3 margin after a more committed Dee defensive effort frustrated the home side in the second quarter of the game. Perhaps
Donaghadee scored their first try of the game in the 48th minute after ex Cooke man David Thompson scored from a lineout set piece move. However this comeback was to be short-lived with the home side going on to score a further 22 points to Donaghadee’s 15 second half total. Alastair Lockhart scored the second of Donaghadee’s tries in an excellent solo effort – successfully converted by Ricardo Santos.
The final score was a fair reflection of the superiority of Cooke on the day however the celebrations of the home side at the end of the game should in many ways console the Dee players, knowing that the pre-season favourites for this league got so much satisfaction from defeating the new entrants to the league, Junior Cup Winners Donaghadee.
Donaghadee will now look to bounce back from this set back on Saturday when they face Dromore in league action. Donaghadee will be keen to secure a win to help secure their aspirations to finish in the top four league positions.
Donaghadee team vs. Cooke
Billy Allen, Ricardo Santos, Bobby Harpur (c), Nigel Barker ,Chris McGivern,Paul Blewitt, Alastair Lockhart, Gareth Gordon, Phillip McCaughey ,Ryan Willis, Kalave Aualiitia, Kyle Morrow, Richard Martindale, Kenny McCombe, Richard Miller. Subs: Keith McIlwaine & David Thompson
Saturday 12th February – Dromore vs. Donaghadee (League 2.30pm KO)