Hockey: England 4 Ireland 2

England players celebrate a goal (pic England Hockey)

England players celebrate a goal (pic England Hockey) - Credit: Archant

Liam Ansell’s stunning strike was the pick of a six-goal thriller as England progressed to the 2018 Hockey Men’s World Cup knockout stages with victory over Ireland.

The forward smashed the ball beyond David Harte in the midst of a goalscoring frenzy early in the second half, with four goals scored in three minutes.

David Condon opened the scoring from Hampstead & Westminster youngster Will Calnan’s cutback, with James Gall and Mark Gleghorne also finding the net for England.

Ireland’s goals came courtesy of Chris Cargo, a Hampstead & Westminster team-mate of Calnan and Harry Martin, and Shane O’Donoghue, but it wasn’t enough for them to qualify.

The result means England finish second in Pool B behind Australia and they will now face New Zealand in the next round, with Ansell believing today’s hard-fought win will set them up perfectly for that game

“It’s always a tight game against Ireland and today they caused us quite a lot of problems,” he said.

“But we said in our previous games we need to take our chances, we did today and it was great to get the win on the board.

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“I don’t think any team here is an easy game, they’re all tough. You’ve got to prepare for all of them and be ready on the day. We’ll go away and prepare, see where we can improve, work out New Zealand’s threats and be ready for that game.”

England: George Pinner, David Ames, Harry Martin, Mark Gleghorne, Adam Dixon, Barry Middleton, Liam Ansell, David Condon, Jack Waller, James Gall, Liam Sanford. Subs: Luke Taylor, Ian Sloan, Michael Hoare, Phil Roper, Will Calnan, Zach Wallace.