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Watt bows out of international arena after 12 golden years

 

By Graham Hamilton

Ulster's Mikie Watt has called a day on his international career.

The former Instonians and Lisnagarvey striker, who also played abroad and is currently lining out in England, has decided the time is right to step down after 12 enjoyable years in the Irish squad.

Among his highlights were reaching the 200 caps milestone, winning bronze in the European championships and, finally, playing in the Olympic Games.

"The obvious high point in my career was lining out at the 2016 Olympics in Rio," he said.

"After two failed attempts where we came so close, the agony made it feel even more special to play on the biggest stage with a group of guys so deserving.

"Winning bronze at the Europeans in 2015 was also memorable and seeing the team climb up the rankings over the years has been a joy."

Mikie, who scored 54 international goals, paid tribute to many who helped him along the way, but has also received praise from Irish coach Craig Fulton and captain David Harte for his contribution that helped put the Green Machine firmly on the map.

Meanwhile, Cookstown beat Instonians in a shoot-out after a 4-4 draw in the delayed Irish Senior Cup tie at Shaw's Bridge.

Mark Crooks and Michael Kerr gave the Tyrone side a two-goal lead but a Chris Kirk penalty stroke and a John Watson penalty corner levelled matters.

Greg Allen and Timmy Sloan restored Cookstown's two-goal lead but Kirk and Stephen Kelso levelled the scores again before the Tyrone lads clinched a second round place against Three Rock by winning the shoot-out 5-4 after sudden death.

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