REPORT: Ireland 2-2 England (4-3 SO)

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Daragh Walsh netted the winning penalty and Ireland defeated England 4-3 in a shootout in their playoff match at the Four Nations Tournament in Valencia.

The sides drew 2-2 in normal time as Ireland twice came from behind, Zach Wallace gave England the lead in the second half before Eugene Magee levelled. 

A Luke Taylor penalty corner restored England's lead before Sean Murray netted a late equaliser with just four minutes remaining to take the game to a shootout.

Speaking after the match head coach Danny Kerry said: "“When I compare our final performance with the opening game against Ireland, I was pleased with the way we played in our final match particularly in the first half.

“Putting results into perspective, we’ve shown large development as a group in a high standard tournament. This has been an excellent exercise as we look at numerous combinations, develop tactics and prepare for the World Cup in India at the end of the month.

“The group have been a privilege to be around, committed and attentive throughout.”

It was a strongly contested opening quarter with the ball changing possession frequently. Both defences protected their circles well and chances were kept to a minimum. 

This continued after the break but it was England who began to settle on the ball and James Gall fired narrowly wide just as England ended the half on top.

After the break England flew out the traps and took the lead. A great run down the right from Barry Middleton saw him take the ball to the baseline, his cut back found Wallace who cleverly fired into the roof of the net on the reverse to score his first international goal.

Ireland were level though almost immediately, Robson found space and fired across goal for Magee to finish from close range. England won a penalty corner from the restart and Mark Gleghorne's low effort was brilliantly saved by David Fitzgerald.

England pressed hard for a winner in the final fifteen minutes. Another penalty corner saw them go close as Taylor's effort was saved and the rebound hammered into the bar.

On 49 minutes from another corner England edged ahead though as Taylor fired another drag-flick towards goal and it snuck past the goalkeeper.

However with four minutes remaining Ireland drew level, Murray ran into the England circle and lifted the ball past the keeper into the net. Ireland had good chances to grab a late winner but Pinner twice made smart stops to keep the score at 2-2 and the game headed to shootout.

Harry Martin, Zach Wallace and Adam Dixon were on target for England while Magee, Sothern, O'Donoghue converted for Ireland but it was Daragh Walsh who netted the winning penalty.

England XI: Harry Gibson, Henry Weir, Harry Martin, Ian Sloan, Mark Gleghorne, Phil Roper, Adam Dixon, Barry Middleton, David Goodfield, James Gall, Rhys Smith

Subs (Used): George Pinner, Luke Taylor, Ollie Willars, Chris Griffiths, David Condon, Jack Waller, Zach Wallace