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Cookstown Are Double Champions – Video
There will be plenty of smiles around Cookstown this morning after the Fr Rock’s men secured the Power NI Tyrone Intermediate Championship title in Omagh last night with a convincing win over Eskra. In doing so the Cookstown men have lifted their second Intermediate double in three years.
Straight from the throw in Cookstown took full control of the game. Indeed they were 1-2 to no score up inside the first four minutes. James McGahan opened the scoring from a free followed seconds later by a John Gilmore goal. Indeed the former county minor was to prove to be a handful for the Eskra defence throughout the game. Midfielder Conor O’Hare added the next score from play before Eskra finally opened their account through a Peter Hughes 45.
By the quarter hour mark Cookstown had extended their lead following points from Gilmore and Mulligan that took the score to 1-4 to 0-1. Peter Hughes did try manfully to pull Eskra back into the game with two more points but Cookstown were a team on a mission and they added three more points before the break from Mulligan (2) and the free running Conor O’Hare. Cormac Arkinson got the final score of the half for a shell shocked Eskra as the half time whistle sounded with the score line reading Cookstown 1-7 Eskra 0-4.
The first twenty minutes of the second half were a bit of a throw back to last week with only one score this coming from Eskra’s Shane Hackett. Barry Mulligan had received a straight red card mid way through to reduce Cookstown to 14 players. It wasn’t until the 50th minute that Cookstown got back on the scoreboard through Conor O’Hare. That point was quickly followed up by a wonderful point from wide out on the right by substitute Brian Mulligan. Martin Hughes clipped over the next point for the league champions to stretch the lead out to eight.
At this stage it was all Cookstown. Eskra did manage another two points from midfielder Eoin McCaffrey and Peter Hughes but two more scores from Conor Mullan and sub Marty McVey eased Cookstown to a convincing nine point victory. Final Score Cookstown 1-13 Eskra 0-7
There were two huge battles throughout the sixty minutes. Ryan Pickering did another very decent job in marking county man Peter Hughes and Niall McGinn had a wonderful battle with James McGahan. The difference on the night however was the score taking ability of the Cookstown team in particular Conor O’Hare and the performance of John Gilmore in the full forward line.
Owen Mulligan referred in his speech that people were keen to label the Cookstown men the yo-yo club. With the league and championship double and the reserve league added to the honours in 2012 it will be interesting to see if the Fr Rock’s have the foundation they need to remain in the top flight for a little longer this time. Next up for the Cookstown men will be the trip to the Athletic Grounds in Armagh to take on Armagh champions Killeavy in the Ulster Intermediate series.