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Champions fall at Paddy Cullen Park.

posted Oct 27, 2013, 10:45 AM by Martin McGirr

Champions fall at Paddy Cullen Park! 
Cookstown 1-7 Clonoe 0-8 

County champions Clonoe were the visitors to Paddy Cullen Park on Sunday afternoon with two vital league playoff points up for grabs in the hunt for a top four league spot. They were welcomed on to the pitch with a guard of honour from the home side, but that was quickly forgotten as a feisty encounter began to develop from the first whistle. The visitors got off to a great start with two frees in the first two minutes to open a two point gap. The Rocks were reduced to fourteen men after nine minutes, when Christopher Eastwood picked up a second yellow, Owen Mulligan opened the Cookstown scoring from play, before Clonoe were reduced to fourteen, when Jerome McElroy picked up a second booking on thirteen minutes. The O'Rahilly's stretched the lead further when Shane O'Hagan scored from play a minute later. The teams traded points in the next few minutes, with a James McGahan free followed by a Ryan O'Neill score to make it 0-4 to 0-2 to the visitors. Cookstown began to settle into the contest, and two frees from the impressive James McGahan left the sides level with twenty nine minutes played. The Rocks kicked on and a brilliant team goal, started deep in defence by Ruairi Mullan was eventually palmed to the net by Brian O'Neill to give Cookstown a deserved three point lead. A late score from Patrick Doris left the half time score 1-4 to 0-5 to Cookstown. It was Clonoe who opened the scoring in the second half, with Collie Doris scoring from play after just a minute, Shea McGarrity replied minutes later to leave Cookstown two ahead. The visitors began to lose their discipline, as Cookstown ran at their defence and PJ Lavery was dismissed for a second booking ten minutes into the half. A Declan McClure free kept them in contention, before they were further reduced, when a reckless Shane O'Hagan tackle saw him lined on a second yellow. Despite being down to twelve men a Danny McNulty free left the sides level with twenty minutes on the clock. Further indiscipline from Ryan T O'Neill, say him red carded on twenty five minutes, and playing against eleven men Cookstown began to take control of the game, with extra men all over the pitch, two scores from Owen Mulligan (one free), put them two points ahead (1-7 to 0-8).  The Rocks held on to secure a great victory which moves them into third place in the table, and in contention for a play off place when Augher visit Paddy Cullen Park next week. This was a great all round team performance but special mention must go to Eoin Coyle who made an impressive debut against the County champions. The Cookstown team lined out as follows; M Rea, P McGurk, M O'Connor, D Hughes, M Murray, R Pickering, E Coyle, B Mulligan, C Mullan, S McGarrity (0-1), O Mulligan (0-3,1free) , R Mullan, C Eastwood, B O'Neill (1-0), J McGahan 0-3, (3 frees) subs Brian Kelly, J Gilmore. 

Mixed Weekend for Reserves 
Fr Rocks reserves had a difficult weekend, with two vital games in two days. First up was a difficult championship quarter final in Dromore, which saw them come away with a superb 0-8 to 0-7 victory. This was a brilliant, hard fought win, which continued their unbeaten run through the season. Unfortunately two games in two days took its toll, and they were defeated by two points by Clonoe on Sunday. In a tough encounter, playing into a Gael force win in the second half, they could not find the scores to secure victory. They could still win the league title next week, if results go their way, and are still a force in the championship. Well done to all involved.