REPORT Cookstown v Malone

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Cookstown 12 – Malone 21

Cookstown and Malone played out an entertaining contest on Saturday past as they renewed last season’s rivalry for the first time this year. Following last season’s infamous tussles both on the pitch and in the boardroom at Ravenhill, it was the Belfast outfit that emerged victorious on this occasion as they finally got the better of Cookstown on the pitch.

Cookstown got off to a sluggish start and the 5 week lay-off was certainly in evidence as they allowed the league leaders Malone to dictate the pace of the game. During the opening quarter, they manged to cross the line twice for a 14-0 leaving Cookstown with an uphill battle to get back into the game. Cookstown did manage to dominate the last 10 minutes of the half but resolute Malone defending ensured they maintained their healthy advantage.

Cookstown came out firing in the second half and eventually got the rewards of a dominant pack performance. From a lineout, they mauled the Malone pack back 40 yards with Owen Mallon the man to get the touchdown. Cookstown continued to play on the nerves of the Malone rear-guard and following a bout of nerves in the Malone defence, got another try through Ciaran Currie to reduce the deficit to 2 points. Malone weathered the storm and following a number of contentious refereeing decisions managed a 3rd try in the final play of the match. The Malone side-line celebrated like it was a Champions Cup Final as they realised the significance of finally overcoming their arch rivals and the top Minor rugby team in the Ulster Rugby in 2014/15.

Captain Liam Currie commented after the match, “A lack of match sharpness costs us but the performance was a turning point for the team. The boys really enjoyed the run out and are already looking forward to the next game away to CIYMS – I’m sure that’s nothing to do with the bus trip and early kick off.”

Thanks to our resident photographer Daron Paterson for the top quality pictures.

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