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Hockey: Pearn strikes twice

MARK PEARN, Reading's 22-year-old striker, celebrated his 50th appearance for England with two goals in their 6-2 victory against South Africa in Buenos Aires yesterday.

After two draws against Argentina which promised more than they achieved, England were off to a good start against South Africa, quickly putting behind them the thoughts of their two defeats in Pretoria last year when the teams last met. Russel Garcia opened the scoring in the fourth minute with a flick at their first penalty corner.

With George Clover's shot taking a deflection past the goalkeeper and Pearn's first goal from a reverse stick shot, England built up a useful 3-0 interval lead.

A rare Calum Giles goal in open play following good work by Danny Hall and a corner conversion by Giles extended England's lead to 5-0.

South Africa's two goals came from Surbiton players - Gregg Clark and Greg Nicol - who scored at one of the four penalty corners they were awarded, but despite this comeback in the closing minutes it was Pearn, with his second just two minutes from time, who confirmed England's supremacy.