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Cookstown are hit with double blow

By Graham Hamilton

It turned out to be a disappointing weekend for Cookstown - they lost their top of the table Ulster Premier League slot on Saturday when losing 4-1 to Kilkeel and then succumbed 7-4 in the Irish Indoor championships final to Three Rock Rovers yesterday.

Considering there is no indoor league in Ulster, the Tyrone lads put up a good fight against the Leinster champions in the decider at Queen's PEC, having earlier beaten Glenanne 4-2.

But although they were level 2-2 at the interval, the Dubliners showed their class with five straight goals in the second half before Cookstown pulled two back late on.

The outdoor league defeat at Kilkeel though could be more harmful as it wipes away their advantage and now it's a three-way fight for the title along with Annadale and the Mournemen.

Kilkeel had taken the lead through Gary Niblock's penalty corner only for Andy McWhirter to level but the second half saw Gareth Russell restore the lead when he collected an aerial ball, cut in and scored on the reverse.

John Finlay made it 3-1 from a long corner and William Annett rubbed salt in the wounds when he broke clear and scored a superb solo effort near the end.

Belfast Harlequins moved closer to a top four place after their 2-0 success at Portadown with Peter Dobbin and Michael Patterson scoring the goals, while Civil Service and North Down climbed clear of the relegation zone and instead put Mossley and Campbellians in trouble with 4-2 and 3-2 wins respectively.

Chris Barnes bagged a hat-trick for Service while it was Paul Wilson who grabbed the winner for North Down just three minutes from the end. South Antrim were the big winners in Senior One, hitting double figures against Ballynahinch with Adam Glass and Johnny Brown each getting a hat-trick.

Irish Indoor Championships (Queen's): Semi-finals: Cookstown 4 (J Ames, S Smyth, T Sloan, G Allen) Glenanne 2; Antrim 0 Railway Union 12; Final: Cookstown 4 (S Smyth 2, A McWhirter, G Allen) Railway Union 7

Premier League: North Down 3 (J Gilmore, J Bond, P Wilson) Campbellians 2 (J Clarke, S Johnston); Civil Service 4 (C Barnes 3, E Bailey) Mossley 2 (J Robinson, S Todd); Portadown 0 Harlequins 2 (P Dobbin, M Patterson); Kilkeel 4 (G Niblock, G Russell, J Finlay, W Annett) Cookstown 1 (A McWhirter)

Senior One: Cliftonville 1 (S Boyd) Bangor 3 (M Riordan 2, R Burgess); Antrim 3 (S McIlroy 2, S Clyde) Armagh 1 (M Gray); South Antrim 14 (A Glass 3, J Brown 2,3, C Henry 2, H Cartmill 2, S Watt, P Maguire, W Phillips, N Wilson) Ballynahinch 1; Portrush 0 Queen's 3

Irish Junior Cup quarter-finals: Glenanne 4 Banbridge 3 (after strokes); Bandon 4 Instonians 1; Three Rock 11 South Antrim 0; Cork C of I 5 Pembroke 4 (after strokes)

Belfast Telegraph

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