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Old enemy England inflict more misery on Irish

By Graham Hamilton

Ireland slumped to a third successive defeat at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup series in Malaysia yesterday as England chalked up a 4-1 success.

There were 10 Ulstermen on show in a game played in blistering heat - eight wearing the Irish green and two wearing England's white - but none got on the scoresheet.

Once again Irish defenders were guilty of giving away too many penalty corners - six in the first half alone - although this time they only conceded from one when goalkeeper Jamie Carr was beaten by Barry Middleton's deflection from Phil Roper's effort in the 15th minute.

Shane O'Donoghue had a penalty corner conversion disallowed, while at the other end former Cookstown midfielder Ian Sloan had an effort taken off the line by Jonathan Bell.

Sam Ward got England's second when he met Roper's cross and although Julian Dale's penalty corner conversion pulled one back, Ward got England's third after good work by Adam Dixon.

Ireland pulled their keeper in the dying minutes but it backfired as Middleton scored into an empty net to give the scoreline a lop-sided look.

Tomorrow it's World No.1 Australia (8.05am), who beat India 4-2, while Malaysia beat Argentina 3-2 in the other game.

Meanwhile, Ulster Premier leaders Bangor have two difficult games over the next three days - away to second-placed Instonians tomorrow evening and then away to fifth-placed Belfast Harlequins on Saturday.

Finally, Ulster U17s are heading to Lilleshall from May 5-7 to face England in three matches.

ULSTER U17s: Sam Anderson, Hugo Henderson, Oliver Kidd, Jack McGall (Friends), Troy Chambers, Jonathan Lynch, Max Taylor (Wallace High), Paddy Crookshanks, Matthew Willis, Frazer Todd (Sullivan Upper), Andrew Hagen, Matthew Vincent (Grosvenor), Stephen Hamill (Bangor), Sammy Clyde (Greenmount), Joel Lutton (Portadown College), Patrick McKane (Campbell College), Stewart Wylie (Cookstown High).

TODAY: Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (Ipoh, Malaysia): Ireland v Australia (8.05am).

Prior Shield final (Lisnagarvey): Wallace High II v Antrim Grammar (3pm).

TOMORROW: John Minnis Estate Agents Burney Cup semi-finals (Lisnagarvey): Friends v Methody (1.30pm); Wallace High v Sullivan Upper (3.15pm).

Ulster Premier: Instonians v Bangor (8.15pm).

FRIDAY: Sultan Azlan Shah Cup (Ipoh, Malaysia): Ireland v India (8am).

Ulster Premier: Mossley v Kilkeel (7pm).

SATURDAY: Ulster Premier: Portadown v South Antrim (1pm); Belfast Harlequins v Bangor (12.45pm); North Down v Raphoe (2.30pm); Cliftonville v Newry Olympic (1pm); Antrim v Civil Service (2.30pm)

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