England, after their 5-1 drubbing by Germany on Saturday, returned to form yesterday in an exciting game against the Irish in front of a large crowd which included the host country's President, Mary Robinson.
It took England only 14 minutes to take the lead. A switch to Russell Garcia was only partly cleared by the goalkeeper, Ivan Bateman, and the ball was prodded home by Rupert Welch. Ireland then had Robin Madeley temporarily suspended, but went further behind on his return. Rob Hill's free hit found Garcia, whose shot was again blocked only for Don Williams to score from the rebound.
The Irish defence experienced anxious moments before Hill put England 3-0 up from a 41st-minute penalty corner. Irish hopes of salvaging something from the game were raised five minutes later when Jimmy Kirkwood exchanged passes with Rick Johnson to set up a goal for the home team's captain, Martin Sloan.
Ireland survived a further period of sustained pressure until, with five minutes remaining, Hill scored his second.
Ireland's Dutch coach, Cees Koppelaar, although disappointed with the weekend's record of three defeats, was delighted with the performance of his younger players, particularly the striker Alastair Dunne, and relished the opportunity to play against class opposition. 'We have learned so much,' Koppelaar said.
ENGLAND: D Luckes (East Grinstead); R Hill (Havant), J Halls (Old Loughtonians), A Humphrey (Welton), K Takher (Cannock), A Degun (Barford Tigers), D Williams (Havant), J Shaw (Southgate), R Garcia (Havant), S Nicklin (Slough), R Welch (Southgate). Substitutes used: J Lee (East Grinstead), P Gibbins (St Albans), M Bhatti (East Grinstead).
IRELAND: I Bateman (Cork Harlequins); G Burns (Cork C of I), P Holloway (Instonians), A Dowd (Lisnagarvey), C Hade (Dublin YMCA), J Kirkwood (Lisnagarvey), M Sloan (Cookstown, capt), R Taylor (Lisnagarvey), D Clarke (Lisnagarvey), R Madeley (Three Rock Rovers), R Johnson (Three Rock Rovers). Substitutes used: A Dunne (Cork C of I), D McAnulty (Banbridge), G Sterritt (Cliftonville).
Umpires: V Wonig (Ger), P Schellekens (Neth).Reuse content