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England hold Irish to reach semis

England reached the semi-finals of the European Hockey Championships but not without a scare as they recorded a 2-2 draw with Ireland.

Coach Bobby Crutchley saw his team open a two-goal lead by half-time thanks to a pair of early strikes from Tom Carson.

England only required a draw, and at the midway point it appeared they were set to go through to the last four in style, however two penalty strokes from Shane O'Donoghue hauled Ireland level with 14 minutes remaining.

An Ireland winner would have taken them through at England's expense, but Crutchley's team held on, resisting intense late pressure to guarantee a second-placed finish, behind Holland, in Pool B.

At the tournament in Boom, Belgium, England will face the Pool A winners in the semi-finals on Friday.

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