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Sloan emulates father with lead role on international stage

By Graham Hamilton

Ulsterman Ian Sloan is proving a chip off the old block - he is captaining an international team just like dad Martin did.

The former Cookstown midfielder, now based in England and an established regular with Great Britain and England after switching from the Irish set-up, wore the captain's armband as the English men went down 3-0 against Germany in Cape Town over the weekend.

The game was part of their warm-weather training camp in South Africa in preparation for the World League 3 and EuroHockey Nations Cup competitions coming up in the summer.

Ian was winning only his 28th cap as part of the England and GB set-up but coach Bobby Crutchley had no hesitation in choosing him as skipper in a new-look squad following the disappointment of the Olympics.

"It was an incredible honour to captain England," said Ian.

"This team has huge potential and it was a pleasure to lead them out against Germany."

Ian's dad Martin, also a former Cookstown midfielder, captained the Irish squad 108 times in an international career that spanned 14 years and 149 games.

Meanwhile, there is no movement at the top of the Ulster Premier League table, with Cookstown, Kilkeel and Annadale all winning over the weekend.

The Tyrone lads, though, are scoring for fun - they had TEN different marksmen in an 11-3 win at Portadown, Andy McWhirter scoring twice.

A brace from Mark Stevenson helped Kilkeel to their 5-1 win at North Down while it was another double that sparked Annadale's 4-0 win at Civil Service, Fergus Gibson doing the damage.

Elsewhere, Mossley gave themselves a shot in the arm in their bid to avoid relegation when they beat rivals Campbellians 3-2 - and once again they had top scorer Simon Todd to thank, as he struck twice.

Bottom club Raphoe also won, beating Belfast Harlequins 2-0 with goals from Luke Witherow and Alex Tinney, but it will take another few wins from them to close the gap on the pack.

The Senior One programme has now been completed and it's South Antrim who are crowned champions, finishing four points clear of Antrim following their 3-1 success at Armagh.

Bangor came in third, two points further adrift.

EY Irish Hockey League: Railway Union 2 (S McKeever, J McKeever) Monkstown 3 (J Lynch, M Ormulu, D Carson)

Premier League: Portadown 3 (S Johnston, M Beattie, G Morrison) Cookstown 11 (A McWhirter 2, R Millar, J Ames, M Crooks, G Allen, S Smyth, M Kerr, J Haycock, P Thompson, K Black); Civil Service 0 Annadale 4 (F Morris 2, B Wallace, R Capper); Campbellians 2 (J Hall, M West) Mossley 3 (S Todd 2, H Dow); North Down 1 (P Wilson) Kilkeel 5 (M Stevenson 2, D Finlay, L Russell, W Annett); Raphoe 2 (L Witherow, A Tinney) Harlequins 0

Senior One: Armagh 1 (B Mackey) South Antrim 3; Queen's 6 Ballynahinch 0.

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