Andrew Pollock hat-trick helps Cooke to McCrea Cup final win over Malone


By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 9:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 5th April 2016, 9:26 pm
Cooke celebrate after they defeated Malone II in the final at Kingspan Stadium
Cooke celebrate after they defeated Malone II in the final at Kingspan Stadium

Cooke won the McCrea Cup for the first time in six years by outscoring Malone II by four ties to three at Kingspan Stadium.

Cooke took the lead after 10 minutes with a try from Andrew Pollock.

The winger scored four tries in last year’s final and broke the deadlock when Kyle Mitchell made a break he fed his midfield partner Philip Cartmill who released Pollock and he used his pace to beat two defenders and touch down with full back Alex Gourley converting.

Brown registered Malone’s first points with a 16th minute penalty.

Pollock got his second try on 33 minutes when Malone with overlap on the left move the ball the in the opposite direction but lost it, Cooke won it on the ground, Pollock fly hacked on and won the foot race to touch down but Gourley couldn’t convert.

Malone cut Cooke’s lead at the interval to 12-8 with a try with the final play of the first half.

Richard McCullagh made a break through midfield he fed Brown on the 22 and the centre went on an arcing run to touch down in the corner but missed the conversion.

Both sides wasted good scoring opportunities at the start of the second half before Gourley increased Cooke’s lead with a 48th minute penalty.

Pollock completed his hat trick on 56 minutes.

Cartmill made a powerful break carried deep into the before offloading to winger Alan Gourley, he drew the last defender before popping the ball to Pollock to glide under the posts with Alex Gourley converting.

Brown got Malone back in the game with his second try on 68 minutes.

Hooker Dave Cave made a break on half down the wing, he powered through an attempted tackle by Pollock before releasing Brown and he had the presence of mind to go under the posts and the centre added the conversion from a drop kick.

Alex Gourley sealed victory for the Shaw’s Bridge side with four minutes remaining.

The full back showed quick feet to beat a couple defenders and sprinted under posts making his conversion a formality.

Malone set up a grandstand finish when replacement Simon Millar barged over from close range and Brown converted.

Malone II: G Millar, J Gregg, N Brown, R Mccullagh, P Martin, B Duff, C Henry; L Barlow, D Cave, R Bartley, M Doak, C Davis, M Porter, J Ferguson B McDonell

Replacements:C Kelly, K Calladine, P Ireland, B Kearney, S Millar

Cooke:A Gourley, A Gourley, P Cartmill, K Mitchell, A Pollock, A Hanna, R Flavell;

J McClune, L Bennett, W Dodd, A Quigley, S McClelland, S Bridge, A Dodd, B Mannus

Replacements: R Hunter, C Robinson, I Anderson, M Elliott, A Nelson

Ref D Carson