Hockey: One-way traffic for Cookstown with 11 goals

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In hockey, Greg Allen scored his second hat trick in two games.

Cookstown put eleven goals past Cliftonville without reply to stay top of Kirk Cup Group D.

They went ahead after six minutes at Steelweld Park, when Stuart Smyth pumped the ball home from the Reds' first penalty corner.

An inspired second half performance by the Cliftonville goalkeeper kept the score down as the Reds ran the visitors ragged at Steelweld Park.

Cliftonville got themselves into a promising position just after this, but a mistake led to a break up field through Allen who went close with a reverse.

Thereafter, it was all Cookstown as the Senior One team struggled to keep possession. A divine deflection from Allen put Paul Thompson away down the right hand side and left back Daniel Crooks made no mistake at the back post for 2-0.

His elder brother, Mark, then made it 3-0 just two minutes later, cutting across the face of goal from a sideline ball to slam home a reverse.

Barely a minute had passed before Greg Allen grabbed the first of his goals. He dodged three tackles at the top of the circle before knocking the ball home off his weak side. On fifteen minutes Allen converted again with a low drag which bamboozled the Cliftonville shotstopper.

Cliftonville somewhat steadied the ship at 5-0 and for a period commanded a good bit of possession without being able to craft their first shot on Tobi Deppermann's goal.

Perhaps the best goal of the day came on 21 minutes. Cookstown broke from the back with some crisp passing which put Allen into space. He cut into the circle but his shot was deflected. Andy McWhirter finished defiantly with a first time volley.

A couple of chances from the corner set piece were all too easily dealt with before Allen finished his hat trick five minutes from the break. A short corner strike was stopped on the line by a foot and Allen made no mistake from the spot for 7-0.

The second half proved extremely frustrating from a Cookstown point of view.

Chance upon chance from open play, short corners and even the penalty spot came and went as the Cliftonville 'keeper came alive to deny the Reds on numerous occasions.

It was only on 50 minutes that Cookstown found a way past him with a fantastic finish. Ryan Millar ran onto the ball out wide before showing off some 3D skills to get into the area and slamming the ball into the bottom corner with a tomahawk on the half volley from an acute angle.

Johnny Ames made it 9-0 seconds later, robbing a defender before slamming the ball into the bottom corner.

More Cliftonville saves kept Cookstown at bay before, on 60 minutes, Cliftonville had their first shot on goal, Deppermann getting out quick to force the striker too wide to hit the target. He was on hand again two minutes later, saving twice in quick succession.

Cookstown hit double figures with two minutes remaining in the match. Greg Allen did marvellously well to chase down a loose ball and reversed it into the path of Timmy Sloan who deflected into an empty net.

McWhirter made it 11-0 right on the buzzer when the strong-running Stuart Smyth put him into a good position to deflect home.

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