Hockey: Crutchley makes mark: England may have found goalscoring successor to Kerly

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AS THE spectators dispersed from a rain-sodden Milton Keynes on Saturday after England's narrow 2-1 win against Ireland most of them were probably wondering whether England had at last found a new Sean Kerly.

The Hounslow striker, Bobby Crutchley, 23, had just scored his first international goals. Number one came with his first touch of the ball, having just appeared as a 24th- minute substitute, diving full length to convert Chris Mayer's cross.

Then, 10 minutes into the second half, he scored from England's fifth penalty corner. Rob Hill, having failed with all previous attempts, slipped the ball to John Shaw who sold the Irish defence a dummy before giving Crutchley the chance to score with a rising shot. Ireland's consolation came from David McAnulty with just two minutes remaining, courtesy of the English defence.

It was a scrappy game for which neither side had much appetite. Most English players were probably thinking about the start of next week's PizzaExpress National League programme rather than the start of England's build- up for the World Cup in Sydney in November next year; the Irish were still licking their wounds after not qualifying. England's manager, David Whittle, singled out Matthew Sutton for special mention.

ENGLAND: D Luckes (East Grinstead); A Humphrey (Welton), R Hill (Havant), J Halls (Old Loughtonians), M Sutton (Bournville); J Shaw (capt, Southgate), J Laslett (Teddington), S Nicklin ( Teddington); D Williams (Havant), R Thompson (Hounslow), P McGuire (Teddington). Substitutes used: S Rowlands (Havant), C Mayer (Cannock), R Davis (Harleston Magpies), B Crutchley (Hounslow).

IRELAND: R Geddis (Lisnagarvey); A Dowd (Lisnagarvey); P Hollway (Instonians), G Steritt ( Cliftonville), C Hade (Dublin YMCA); J Kirkwood (Lisnagarvey), M Sloan (Cookstown, capt), R Johnson (Three Rock Rovers); D Clarke (Lisnagarvey), A Dunne (Cork Church of Ireland), D McAnulty (Banbridge ). Substitute used: R Madely (Three Rock Rovers).

Umpires: J Halfacre (England) and S Clarke (Ireland).

In the women's National League yesterday there were wins in the Premier Division for the champions, Ipswich, Slough and Balsam Leicester: all have 100 per cent records. Ipswich's goals in a 2-0 win at Chelmsford came from Vickey Dixon and Lucy Youngs.