For so long, the relegation battle in the men’s EY Hockey League looked a two-horse race but Cookstown’s resurgent form has them dreaming of a famous escape.
They beat Annadale 2-1, their rivals in the dogfight, to move into ninth place and, more importantly, have dragged eighth placed Cork C of I back into range for the first time.
Jon Ames’ deflection from Greg Allen’s pass in the 48th minute proved the key moment at Steelweld Park. It came just a minute after Annadale had equalised through Robbie McGuire after Mark Crooks’ fine opening goal.
It was the Co Tyrone side’s second win in succession and if they can win their game in hand next Saturday – also against Annadale - then they will be level on points with C of I.
The Cork side led the rankings in October but have not won in their last nine games, falling 2-1 to Railway Union on Saturday to drop into a perilous position. At the top, Lisnagarvey look to be a shoe-in for the title after they extended their lead to nine points at the top. They did get a slight fright from Three Rock Rovers, though, at Grange Road in a 4-3 win, the Ulster side's 10th success in a row.
Goals from Paul Gleghorne, Neal Glassey and Paul Ritchie had them cruising at 3-0 with nine minutes to go before a mad-cap spell in which Rovers went twice in 45 seconds and went within inches of equalising. Timmy Cockram's tap in, though, made the game safe and they got a favour from Havelock Park where Monkstown and Banbridge drew 1-1.
Pembroke won their third game in four outings in all competitions to rise to seventh place in the table and give them some extra breathing space, seeing off Glenanne 4-3.
Results in Sports Round-up