Match report 21 Sept 18
Millar McCall Wylie Junior Cup – Cooke v Coleraine
This rescheduled match played in perfect conditions at Shaw’s Bridge witnessed two very different sides lock horns than those who met 3 weeks ago in the Ulster Championship League. Unavailability amongst Cooke regulars saw seasondebuts for hooker Owen Kelly, second row Matty Robinson,out-half Rob Mitchell and winger Jonny Kingham.
The home side started confidently and with 9 minutes played Cooke out-half Rob Mitchell opened the scoring with a penalty from just outside the Coleraine 22. The Bannsider’slevelled the score within 2 minutes with a penalty by their number 9 with Mitchell kicking a shot at goal wide shortly afterwards. Play during the first half hour was generally scrappy with a high error count amidst Cooke attacks and a high penalty count against the visitors.
It was Coleraine who struck next with a further penalty by their talented scrum half when Cooke prevented release in a ruck. Cooke made a change to their front row with about 5 minutes of the first half remaining when Curtis Montgomery replaced injured prop Ian Moxen.
Just before half time Cooke eventually broke the Colerainedefence when centre Backus cut through to dot down under the posts. Mitchell added the simple conversion to bring the scoreline at half time to a narrow 10 : 6 lead to the Shaw’s Bridge men.
Cooke commenced the 2nd half aggressively and with 4 minutes played Mitchell stretched the home side lead to 7 points when the Coleraine defence crept offside on their own 22. Coleraine were quick to respond and some sloppy defence by Cooke allowed the Coleraine outside centre to run in a try for his scrum half to convert, again levelling the score at 13 apiece.
Ironically it was when Cooke lost a second prop, Jonny McClune, with a calf injury and were reduced to 14 men with uncontested scrums, that the home team finally sparked into life. The final twenty minutes of the game were played almost entirely in the Coleraine half with a bag full of tries claimed by number 8 Luke Tarry, Flanker Matty Elliott, a second try for centre Jonny Backus and a score in the dying minutes for centre turned flanker, Michael Cartmill. Rob Mitchell converted 3 out of the four bringing his personal tally for the evening to 13 points and a final score of Cooke 39 : Coleraine 13
This was an entertaining game where a young Cooke side’s willingness to spread the ball provided the dividends. Acting captain Ryan Flavelle kept the game alive with crisp passing to his backline and the back row unit of Elliott, Robinson and Tarry worked tirelessly. Fitness levels amongst the front five does however need to be worked on. A much sterner test is in prospect when the team entertain cup holders Ballynahinch 2’s at Shaw’s Bridge next Saturday
Man of the Match : Matty Elliott