Belfast Telegraph

Hat-trick hero Ian wins it for mum

Cookstown High 4 Banbridge Academy 3

Cookstown High principal Adele Sloan had plenty to celebrate at Lisnagarvey yesterday.

Adele watched her team retain the Ulster Bank Burney Cup with with victory over Banbridge Academy, to add to the McCullough Cup won in December.

And both of her sons played key roles, with Ian producing a man of the match winning performance with a hat-trick, and Stephen taking over the pivotal midfield role when captain David Ames went off injured after just nine minutes.

Ames managed to put Cookstown ahead before being forced off with a bad elbow injury which leaves him doubtful for Satuday’s Irish Hockey League game with the town’s senior team.

Cookstown were always favourites for the Burney, but somebody forgot to tell Banbridge and despite missing the talents of Matthew Gray, who unfortunately received neck and skull injuries in a car crash at the weekend, they remained in the frame right until the end.

That certainly augurs well when they join the Tyrone team in the John Waring Trophy all-Ireland series in Dublin later this month.

When Ames put Cookstown ahead from a penalty corner rebound, and Ian Sloan scored the first of his penalty corner treble in the 17th minute, it seemed a rout was on the cards.

Tarak Chouari gave the Academy a lifeline in 25 minutes but Sloan converted his second three minutes from the break.

Banbridge came out fighting in the second period and Owen Magee promptly deflected home a free, but Cookstown restored their two-goal advantage when Sloan’s drag-flick flashed home in the 40th minute.

Bann refused to throw in the towel and Stephen Dowds crashed home a penalty corner to keep the pot boiling.

“It has been a pleasure captaining this Cookstown squad for the past two years,” said David Ames afterwards. “We’ve managed five trophies from a possible six, showing the strength in depth that we have.”

COOKSTOWN HIGH: Alistair Thom, Andrew McGucken, David Best, Robin Johnston, Jonathan Ames, David Ames, Stephen Sloan, Mark Crooks, Stuart Smyth, Ian Sloan, Keith Harkness. Subs: David Atkinson, Chris Hutchinson, Mark Wilson, Matthew Rollins, Adam Henry.

BANBRIDGE ACADEMY: Andrew Mooney, Philip Doyle, Philip Brown, Scott Forbes, David Beck, Niall Kelly, Stephen Dowds, Tarak Chouari, Hugh McShane, Matthew Berry, Richard Magowan. Subs: Ciaran Kelly, Owen Magee, Hector de Courcey Wheeler, Matthew Knox, Joshua Moffatt.

Umpires: R Johnston, E McFerran

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