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EuroHockey Championships: England 2 Ireland 1

PUBLISHED: 18:00 23 August 2017

England's Samuel Ward and Christopher Griffiths celebrate (pic Frank Uijlenbroek/England Hockey)

England's Samuel Ward and Christopher Griffiths celebrate (pic Frank Uijlenbroek/England Hockey)

WSP/Frank Uijlenbroek

England’s men are into the semi-finals of the EuroHockey Championships after coming from behind to defeat Ireland in Amsterdam.

Bobby Crutchley’s side dug deep to win the game, with David Goodfield and Sam Ward on target in the second half.

It was a pulsating match, with no quarter given on either side in what was effectively a winner-takes-all quarter final.

England made a calm and composed start, keeping the ball well and making numerous penetrations into the Irish circle in the opening exchanges.

However with their first threatening attack it was Ireland who grabbed the first goal of the game from a penalty corner as Conor Harte’s effort was cleverly deflected by Nelson high into the net, giving George Pinner and Liam Sanford no chance on the line.

Both sides largely cancelled each other out in the second quarter, with Ireland awarded an early penalty corner but the ball wasn’t controlled allowing England to clear.

In response England won a corner of their own but David Harte produced a smart double save in the Irish goal to keep them at bay and ensure his side entered the half-time break ahead.

ngland flew out the traps after the interval and were level inside a minute.

Sanford fired a ball into the circle which was deflected to Goodfield and his effort was too hot for the Irish defence as it burst through their efforts and into the backboard.

Moments later England produced a glorious chance to move ahead as, from a penalty corner, the ball was shifted right to Middleton who crossed to Weir on the back post but he couldn’t make contact and the scores remained level.

However just before the final break England took the lead as David Ames won the ball in midfield before feeding Ian Sloan down the right. He reached the baseline before cutting back to Ward who got in front of his marker to finish past Harte.

Ireland pressed to find an equaliser but found Pinner in top form to tip O’Donoghue’s effort over the bar from a penalty corner.

With two minutes to go the Irish opted for a kicking back but England held firm to progress to the semi-finals where they will meet Belgium or the Netherlands on Friday (7pm).

England: George Pinner, Michael Hoare, Brendan Creed, Liam Sanford, Adam Dixon, David Ames, Barry Middleton, Sam Ward, Phil Roper, David Condon, Chris Griffiths, David Goodfield, Mark Gleghorne, Ian Sloan, Harry Martin, Henry Weir, Ollie Willars. Unused sub: Harry Gibsno.

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