Tyrone U16 Grad 3B Development League Final
Cookstown 9-6 Ardboe 6-7
Cookstown Fr Rock’s made a little bit if history in Moortown on Saturday morning as they became the first club in Tyrone to annex the U16 Grade 3B Development League title. Aimed at ensuring the as many players as possible get meaningful games for their club this competition was well supported by the clubs in 2023. The League Final itself was a pulsating encounter with the Cookstown men just managing to hold off a very talented Ardboe side who contributed to an excellent game.
The Fr Rock’s got off to an excellent start with a goal inside the opening 60 seconds from Rian Coey. A Ruairi O’Neill free in the third minute opened Ardboe’s account but Cookstown were five points up by the 6th minute with an excellent goal from Lorcan McDermott. Odhran Coleman hit the Cookstown net two minutes later but Ardboe conceded the next four points. Two Colm Casey frees, followed by a Conal McMurray point and another from wing half back Jake Doris eased Cookstown into a six point lead.
Ardboe did hit another two point through Ruairi O’Neill ahead of the beak but once again Cookstown’s accuracy in front of the posts hurt the lough shore side as Aidan McElhatton twice found the Ardboe net in the 28th and 30th minutes, with the final score of the half coming from Lorcan McDermott for the Fr Rock’s side. Half Time – Cookstown 4-5 Ardboe 1-3.
Ardboe opened the scoring after the break through a fourth Ruairi O’Neill point but Cookstown responded with a third Aidan McElhatton goal in the 33rd minute. Ardboe might well have dropped the heads at that point but they hit back with a goal of their own. Conal McMurray showing real determination to find the Cookstown net in the 36th minute. Just as it appear Ardboe might be staging a fightback Aidan McElhatton popped up with hist fourth goal of the game ten minutes into the second half.
From there to the finish it was a toe to toe shoot out. An Ardboe point from Odhran Coleman was followed up with a goal from the same player. Thomas Kelly-Watt added another Ardboe goal but Cookstown had the answers when it mattered. Another Lorcan McDermott point was followed by goals from Rory McAleer and Jake Doris. Ardboe had multiple goal chances towards the end but a combination of luck and good goalkeeping from Daniel McCrellis denied them. They had only a final goal in the 61st minute from the excellent Luke Muldoon to show for their efforts.