Hughes keeps cool to blast home vital penalty
Cookstown (Tyrone) 1-7
Spa (Kerry) 0-8
ALL-IRELAND CLUB IFC FINAL
BARRY Hughes' 52nd-minute goal proved to be the defining moment as Tyrone's Cookstown hit the glory trail at Croke Park yesterday.
Centre-back Hughes showed brilliant composure to blast a penalty past Spa goalkeeper James Devane after Raymond Mulgrew had been fouled near goal.
That strike put Cookstown into a 1-6 to 0-7 lead and, despite Niall O'Mahony kicking a point for Spa, the Tyrone club clinched victory with an injury-time free by Owen Mulligan.
The Kerry champions had enjoyed an excellent start, with full-forward Michael O'Donoghue in free-scoring form and they lead 0-3 to 0-0 by the ninth minute.
Cookstown's shooting cost them dearly in the first-half as they struck eight wides, but Conor Mullan finally got them off the mark with a point in the 13th minute.
Further points by Christopher Eastwood, Mullan and Brian Mulligan saw Cookstown move into a 0-4 to 0-3 lead after 25 minutes.
However, Spa rallied before the break, with Fergus Clifford and O'Donoghue ensuring they went in at the break with a slender 0-5 to 0-4 advantage.
Cookstown continued to control proceedings after half-time, but couldn't translate that into scores and by the close of the third quarter, Spa were still in front, 0-6 to 0-5.
A great Niall O'Mahony point in the 48th minute put Spa in a commanding position, but a Martin Murray free and Hughes' goal changed the game.
Inspired by man-of-the-match Mulgrew and county star Mulligan, Cookstown held on for a famous win.
Scorers -- Cookstown: B Hughes 1-0 (1-0 pen), O Mulligan (0-1f), C Mullan 0-2 each, C Eastwood (f), M Murray (f), Brian Mulligan 0-1 each. Spa: M O'Donoghue 0-4 (0-3f), N O'Mahony 0-2, C Tobin, F Clifford 0-1 each.
COOKSTOWN -- M Rea; P Kelly, S Monaghan, P McGurk; S McGarrity, B Hughes, C O'Hare; G Fitzpatrick, C Mullan; R Mulgrew, Barry Mulligan, Brian Mulligan; C Eastwood, O Mulligan, M Murray. Subs: J Gilmore for Eastwood (42), R Pickering for McGarrity (47), B O'Neill for Fitzpatrick (59), J Quinn for Brian Mulligan (59).
SPA -- J Devane; B Gleeson, A Cahill, F Clifford; D O'Sullivan, H O'Donoghue, E Cronin; K Healy, A Garnett; C Tobin, N O'Mahony, P Murphy; T Lynch, M O'Donoghue, C Gleeson. Subs: C Cronin for Murphy (55).
Ref -- T Quigley (Dublin).