Hockey: England inflict double defeat to secure Test series

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The Independent Online

England extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches here yesterday when they beat Ireland 5-1 to secure a 3-0 victory in the series.

Ireland got off to a dream start at the University College Dublin National Stadium with a penalty corner conversion by Stephen Butler in the third minute.

The hosts, playing fast, attacking hockey, were in complete control until David Mathews struck the first of his two goals in the 24th minute, scoring in open play. The Amsterdam striker followed up with a penalty corner in the last-minute of the first half to send England into the break leading 2-1.

After the interval the visitors moved up a gear. Rob Moore, who was a late replacement for the injured Guy Fordham, scored from open play in the 46th minute, and Brett Garrard put England 4-1 ahead at a penalty corner in the 63rd minute. Then 19-year-old Barry Middleton, who had scored his first international goal on Friday evening, struck his third in three games two minutes later.

But England's second half performance was marred by the temporary suspension of Andy West, who suffered his second trip to the sin-bin in successive days.

While Garrard and Moore scored their first international goals, Mathews took his tally to 34 on his 50th international appearance.

England, who had begun the series with a 2-0 win at the end of last month, edged home 2-1 winners in the second Test on Saturday, with goals from Craig Parnham, their captain, and Middleton. Justin Sherriff scored a late consolation for the Irish in a game in which they had put England under a lot of pressure.

IRELAND: N Henderson (capt); P Brown; J Black, D Smyth, E Utton; S Butler, C Jackson, A Barbour; J Sherriff, N Buttimer, J Jermyn. Substitutes used: G Elliott, M Irwin, M Raphael, D Hobbs.

ENGLAND: J Lewis; R Todd, B Garrard; A West, M Johnson, B Hawes; M Jones, M Pearn, D Mathews, J Wallis, B Middleton. Substitutes used: S Mason, J Peckett, C Parnham (capt), R Moore, D Hall.

Umpires: C Hutchinson (Irl) and R Graham (Eng).

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