Drumragh Sarsfields ended Cookstown’s hopes of a Division Three double under the lights at Healy Park on Friday night when they came out on top of a 2-10 to 1-7 scoreline. The foundations of this win were laid during the opening fifteen minutes when Colm Bradley’s side raced into a 1-4 to 0-1 lead. Cookstown, who finished with twelve men , did close the gap to a single point point with four minutes remaining but Drumragh were not to be denied and pulled away to win by six.
The Clanabogan lads began like a house on fire with quality points from Tommy Murphy (2), Malachy Mc Manus and Niall Mc Carney.
Cookstown looked somewhat flat at that stage but opened their account on nine minutes with a point from Michael Mc Elhatton. Drumragh continued to dominate with Eoin Montgomery, Shane Devine and Patrick Colgan ensuring that the supply to the Fr Rocks forward line was well restricted. However Colgan caused consternation in his defence at one stage when under no pressure he passed the ball back to his brother James between the sticks and almost scored an own goal.
With fourteen minutes played the Sarsfields plundered their first goal of the contest when Niall Mc Carney drove through and fired the ball to the net to put his side six points to the good. A further score from Cleary made it 1-5 to 0-1 and left Cookstown with a mountain to climb. Ruairi Mullan and Connor O’Neill gave them hope with points but Tommy Murphy hit his third of the night and sent the sides off at the break with Drumragh ahead on a score of 1-6 to 0-3.
Cookstown needed a fast start to the second half and they came out all guns blazing. Points from Matthew Carberry and Michael Mc Elhatton plus an opportunistic goal from Connor O’Neill changed the complexion of the match and suddenly it was game on with the gap down to a single point 1-6 to 1-5.
Drumragh had their mettle well and truly tested as both managers ran their benches. Points from Sean Mc Gale and Ronan Maguire steadied the Drumragh nerves but a point apiece from Gilmore and Carberry and it was down to a point again less than five minutes on the clock.
In an all action closing five minutes Drumragh subs Kian Murphy and Daniel O’Neill hit the scores that eventually won the game. A point from Murphy and a well crafted and superbly finished goal from O’Neill completely deflated Cookstown before Kevin Marron wrapped up the scoring with a last minute point for his side.
Drumragh will now face neighbours and rivals Fintona Pearses in the final of the Tyrone Junior championship.